After a soft launch back in February 2016, the Public Speaking Resource Center located in Morehead Hall held its grand opening on Sept. 28. The resource center has already received repeat visitors who have seen for themselves the progress that can be made with each 25-minute session.
Dr. Marylou Naumoff serves as coordinator of the Fundamentals of Speech Program at Montclair State and is committed to getting the word out about these new resources for speech planning that are open to not only students, but to faculty and alumni as well.
The two speech consultants, Gai Grannon and Jamie Wisniewski, are not just limited to assisting visitors with speeches associated with class presentations. Public speaking is a broad subject and both of them have had people come to them for help with interviews for internships and post-college employment. Some faculty members have also made use of the resource center to help with speeches made at conferences or student orientation.
The Public Speaking Resource Center is located on the second floor of Morehead Hall and includes two tutor rooms, a performance room and a focus group room that Naumoff explained could be used in the future for research purposes. The consultants assist with speech planning, language use and identifying nervous ticks one might not know about when they speak in public, like twirling their hair or fiddling with their clothes.
The tutor rooms house useful equipment to mimic the same environment a person will experience while giving a speech. Along with a podium, the room has a television with a connected camera which can be turned on or off, based on the person’s preferences.
The camera gives them the option to see themselves while giving a speech. The television can also be used to show a PowerPoint or other media or be made into a split-screen to display a PowerPoint and their speech at the same time. Those who bring a flashdrive with them to their session can have their speech recorded to use as a reference.
Grannon and Wisniewski said students were pleased with their progress after their sessions and found their appointments very helpful. Grannon said one student already came back for more help and plans on taking advantage of the resource center whenever he can.
“He couldn’t believe he could put together a speech in ten minutes,” Grannon said. The student also said he planned on telling all his friends about the public speaking resource center.
Previously, those looking to schedule an appointment at the resource center used a Google Calendar but with recent problems arising from the system, Naumoff said they are looking to implement a walk-in model this semester to see how students respond to it. A walk-in model is the most popular option among students who have already visited the center since it’s easier to simply stop by when they have the time based on the center’s hours.
More information about hours of operation can be found at the university website.
For some students, public speaking can be a dreaded practice even though it is something people face more often than they realize. While there are always the stereotypical tips and tricks to ease the stress, Naumoff has a simple word of advice for people who are lacking confidence: “The more you practice the easier it gets.”