How does a College speech class work?

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College speech classes are an effective way to master the art of public speaking. These classes differ from one to another. However, they include a variety of speeches, beginning from the basic ones to the complex ones, i.e. maybe research projects. Moreover, students are made aware of all the aspects of an effective speech i.e. how interactive it should be, what are the presentation tools used, what should be its length etc. 

In addition, some classes might use a more theoretical based teaching, wherein students use textbooks for their understanding of public speaking. On the other hand, some might use a practical way of teaching, wherein students form their own opinions about a certain topic and discuss and debate about it. 

Public speaking is an effective way to communicate your thoughts, ideas and emotions with others. For example, in a college presentation, in an office meeting, or simply, while having a conversation with family or friends. It is an important skill to master which would also be of great value in the formation of your career. Consequently, joining a speech class could be an efficient way to acquire the art of speaking in public, confidently. 

Purpose of College Speech Classes

Taking a speech class in college could prove to be the most advantageous for a student. These classes are designed to benefit students become better orators, enhance their skills in presentation, and to make them entertain and engage the audience. In other words, they are helped in presenting their viewpoints and perspectives, effectively and confidently, in front of a large group of people. 

Students learn to speak confidently with the help of various techniques, such as visual, written and verbal. These techniques are more effective when used in a small and encouraging classroom environment. Furthermore, they also acquire the skills to write an influential and persuasive speech; and to listen. On the other hand, they also perform peer evaluations by listening to the speeches of their classmates and self-evaluations through audio or visual forms.

Deliver speech in a college speech class

What do you do in a College Speech Class?

A college speech class is just like a normal classroom, just with a lot more fun and activities. It is merely designed for students to understand the concept of speech communication. A student performs or experiences 7 major activities in a college speech class.

  1. Comprehend the fundamental concepts of public speaking or speech communication.
  2. Listen to the speeches of others, maybe classmates or the trainers.
  3. Understand and analyse your speech or the speeches of others.
  4. Explore and research various topics for your speeches.
  5. Prepare manuscripts of your speeches.
  6. Deliver your speeches in front of your peers and coach.
  7. Take assessments on public speaking provided by the trainers.

Benefits of College Speech Classes

1. Supportive classroom environment

Usually, college speech classes work with a small group of students, maybe 10 – 15 students per class. This enables individual attention to each student and helps in maintaining and organising their progress. Moreover, it benefits students with demure personalities and who often hesitate in speaking in front of a large audience, initially. In other words, students could easily overcome their fear of public speaking in these kinds of protective and helpful environments.

2. Evaluation process

Students in these classes are not only judged or marked on their speaking skills alone. But also they are evaluated on their writing and listening abilities. Because writing a speech is the first and listening to the audience’s views is the last important step of public speaking. 

“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.”

Dianna Booher 
Evaluation process in a college speech class

“Learning to give a speech is important, but almost equally so is learning to listen critically, analytically, and then to give the speaker the benefit.”

Ralph C. Smedley

Moreover, the evaluation process in these classes is not a conventional one. However, students get a chance to self-evaluate themselves by listening to their speeches. It helps them in learning from their own mistakes and overcoming them. 

On the other hand, students could also assess their peers or classmates. It is an effective way of improvement as they would get to know each other’s viewpoints and feelings and learn from them. 

Furthermore, trainers also evaluate the students based on their progress and performance. They might sometimes use some traditional methods of evaluation like written or oral tests.

3. Training of different tools

Learning the art of public speaking in college classes is rather fun and entertaining. Because trainers make sure to make use of different tools and techniques which would keep the students engaged throughout the session. Like, presentations, cards, audio etc. 

In addition, these tools are also taught to students as they play an important role while delivering a speech or giving a presentation. These tools engage the audience and remove the monotonous and mundane elements from a speech. 

4. Assignments 

They are a significant way to learn writing, organising and presenting a speech. Assignments in a college speech class might differ however there are some general assignments used by trainers, like:

(i) Introductory speech

These are 2 – 3 minutes speeches wherein the student introduces herself or himself. For example, an icebreaker speech in Toastmasters. Students are advised to mention their background, ambitions, interests and personality. When a student writes this speech as a manuscript, it helps in developing his or her writing skills along with presenting it in front of an audience. 

(ii) Celebratory speech

These are 4 – 5 minutes speeches wherein the student is expected to talk about a memory of a person, thing or event. For this speech, the students are advised to use decorative and creative language with imagination. Consequently, honouring the person or event with honesty and compassion. Students could deliver this speech with the help of manuscripts. 

(iii) Informative speech

Informative speech as an assignment in a college speech class

These are 7 minutes speeches wherein the student talks about any object or event. The purpose of this speech is to provide facts and specific information about a thing or event which could elevate the knowledge of the audience. It is advised for students to use any kind of tool, like presentations, while delivering this kind of speech. Moreover, students ought to write this speech however they are asked to deliver it extemporaneously. In other words, they are not allowed to use the manuscript or memorise the speech. 

(iv) Persuasive speech

These are 9 minutes speeches wherein the student persuades his audience about a certain belief or question. This speech is also expected to be delivered extemporaneously. It is advised for students to research and plan the arguments meticulously. Because influencing the audience is an arduous job. 

For this speech, students might research their audience to meet their expectations and to persuade them easily and in a better way. For example, by forming questionnaires on a certain topic for the peers and then formulating the assertions in a speech. 

(v) Self and peer assessments

These types of assignments are an effective way to learn from your own mistakes and that of others and improve them. In self-assessment, students watch the videos of their speeches and prepare an outline as an evaluation. Whereas, in the peer assessments, students prepare a detailed outline of the speeches of their peers or classmates. 

5. Stimulates improvement

College speech classes stimulates improvement

Public speaking is an area which can only be mastered with continuous improvement. Moreover, the trainers or coaches at college speech classes make sure to inspire the students to keep on improving and excelling in this area. The students get an environment which self-motivates them to progress with a high level of commitment and dedication. 

In addition, these classes drive students to take up new challenges every day and fulfil them with success. For example, a reticent student giving his or her first introductory speech in front of the class. Or a student using visual aids for the first time while delivering his or her informative speech.

Significance of College Speech Classes

Everyone wants to share their thoughts and sentiments and wants to communicate effectively as it is an essential part of our lives. It is not necessary to acquire public speaking only if you want to become a professional public speaker. However, it is significant to master it for your day to day life to achieve your goals and excel in whatever career path you choose for yourself. 

1. Enhances communication skills

“Communication is power. Those who have mastered its effective use can change their own experience of the world and the world’s experience of them. All behaviour and feelings find their original roots in some form of communication.”

Tony Robbins

Being a good communicator is quite significant in excelling in various fields. It is beneficial for both personal and professional lives. For example, sharing your thoughts in a form of a speech at your friend’s birthday party or wedding. Or maybe giving an interview or speaking at a TED talk. 

Good communication skills can help people broaden their goals and help them to become better leaders. It gives them the ability to persuade and entice others. Hence, taking a speech class would help in improving this skill by applying the knowledge gained in real-life situations.

2. Helps in defeating anxiety

College speech classes are quite helpful in overcoming feelings of apprehension and fear. They are designed in such a way that students become comfortable while speaking in front of others. 

Moreover, an effective public speaker needs to be more natural and speak without any nervousness. It is important to engage the audience and it won’t be possible if the speaker himself would be out of order. Hence, these classes are quite fruitful in making a person a confident speaker, on and off stage, by using various tools and techniques. 

College speech classes decrease anxiety

Go through this article for more information: Public speaking for introverts

3. Improves leadership skills

Being a good leader certainly depends on being a good orator. Leadership is all about persuading and influencing your teammates. Therefore, without speaking effectively, it won’t be possible. 

Furthermore, if a person can speak confidently, then it would gain him honour and respect. Also, people would be pleased to listen to him and accept him as their leader. 

College speech classes improves leadership skills

4. Showcase confidence

Speaking in front of a large audience confidently comes with practice. As a result, college speech classes provide a platform for students to become more confident while giving a presentation or speech. 

“The only way to learn to speak is to speak and speak, and speak and speak, and speak and speak and speak.”

Elbert Hubbard

Who can Enrol in a College Speech Class?

Public speaking is an art which can be mastered at any stage of life. Usually, college-going students sign up for these classes, irrespective of their major, either to get credit points or to gain knowledge and improve their public speaking skills. 

In addition, other people could also join these classes at a college level, irrespective of their age or job. People usually prefer to join college speech classes instead of any other free courses because of their knowledgeable and professional trainers or instructors. Furthermore, these classes have detailed training programs and an effective evaluation process which certainly benefits the students in becoming better public speakers and communicators. 

Read this article for more useful insights: Can you learn to be a public speaker at any age

Is College Speech Class hard?

A public speaking class at college might seem difficult for some students in the initial phase, especially students with a reticent nature. However, once the students adapt to the situations and get comfortable with their peers and trainers, then it does not seem like a hard nut to crack. 

Moreover, these classes are designed by keeping in mind all the various aspects, like the distinct personalities of the students, their understanding level etc. The syllabus of these classes is a piece of cake. The concepts taught are rarely theoretical and mostly practical which makes them quite comprehensible. In addition, the trainers make the teachings easy with their genial nature and by conducting the classes in an organised way. 

“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Online classes

Online classes for public speaking

There are several public speaking classes and courses offered by colleges which are quite efficient and helpful. These classes are comparatively less apprehensive than live classes. These classes are more convenient and people could boost their skills quite comfortably. 

Moreover, some people find it less stressful to deliver a speech in front of the camera rather than physically presenting it, although, in both modes, the audience remains live. In addition, online classes are no less effective than live classes, as they provide the same resources and one on one assistance to students.

You can get yourselves enrolled in online public speaking classes offered by top colleges and universities like Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Washington, the University of Michigan on Coursera, edX, Udemy etc.

Is Speech Class required in College?

Attending a college speech class would never be the wrong thing to do or it would never posit any harm to the attendee. On the contrary, it would only make the person more confident while speaking which would certainly result in an elevation of his or her personality.

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they are forced to speak in front of an audience, whether personally or professionally. It is not just required in college but in building a healthy career. Consequently, in the blink of an eye, one should always choose to attend a speech class in college for mastering new skills and add new colours to his or her personality. 

Go through this article for more valuable insights: Are public speaking skills required in college

Conclusion

Public speaking or speech classes at a college level are quite potent in mastering the art of public speaking and communication. They are quite useful and possess various benefits. Like the trainers or instructors are quite knowledgeable and professional. Moreover, learning with a bunch of people helps in acquiring the skill more easily as one would challenge himself to perform better and learn from his own mistakes and that of his peers. 

In addition, a classroom setting would first make the students comfortable with speaking in front of a smaller group and then move to a larger group. Furthermore, the environment of the classes is made supportive and lively which helps in keeping the students engaged and entertained. Although, these classes are artificial settings for public speaking but conversely, they are ideal for training purposes. Consequently, students can easily apply the skills and techniques gained from these classes to real-life scenarios. 

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