Home Campus Students learn public speaking skills at Better to Best

Students learn public speaking skills at Better to Best

The Presentation Practice Center hosted Better to Best on Feb. 1 to help students improve their public speaking. The event was held from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesday in room 372A of the Hyrum Manwaring Center.

PPC tutors coached students in public speaking.

Each speaker gave a separate presentation on an aspect of public speaking that they wanted to help attendees improve upon. Afterwards, each speaker hosted 5-10 minute workshops.

Joey Jones, a junior studying communication, attended the event because his teacher said it would be a great opportunity to learn how to become a better public speaker.

Micheal Nading, a junior studying agribusiness, was the first speaker. He explained how to structure a speech.

He said that speeches should sound more like conversations and less like essays.

“I wouldn’t say, ‘Today I’m going to talk to you about this, or my first point is that,'” Nading said.

Micheal Nading spoke about the importance of making a speech sound natural.
Micheal Nading spoke about the importance of making a speech sound natural. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

He emphasized that speaking naturally and being yourself are important for good public speaking.

“As we are normal and natural in our habits, it helps us become better speakers,” Nading said.

Jessica Banks, a senior studying communication, spoke second. She focused on the proper use of visual aids in presentations.

She taught that visual aids should not distract from the speaker or the message. She also said that words on a PowerPoint should act as cues for the speaker rather than content for the audience.

“That’s been the biggest crux people had, their visual aids, so I was hoping my presentation would help people understand the importance of visual aids,” Banks said.

Jessica Banks spoke to the audience about the use of visual aids.
Jessica Banks spoke to the audience about the use of visual aids. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

Jaren McClure, a junior majoring in marriage and family studies, spoke about preparation on the day of the speech.

“There’s a lot of pent-up nerves and energy,” McClure said.

He recommended that speakers find ways to divert or get rid of the energy the day of, so that they can be relaxed as they give their presentation.

McClure, who wore a blue suit and red tie during his presentation, also spoke about dress.

“People will take you more seriously when you dress to the occasion,” McClure said.

After the speeches, audience members were split into groups and rotated around three workshops run by the speakers.

One workshop involved a Kahoot! game related to the PowerPoints shown during the speeches.

In another workshop, participants used props as they gave impromptu speeches.

The third workshop had the attendees give impromptu speeches based off one word they received.

According to its web page, the PPC is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students can schedule an appointment through I-Plan.

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