Public Speaking Center
What? The Public Speaking Center provides quality peer-to-peer consulting for all UW-L students seeking assistance on oral presentations and public speaking assignments. Peer consultants aid students with topic selection, outlines, content development, delivery, audio-visual aids, managing speaking anxiety, and increasing confidence.
Where? Murphy 251 (within the Murphy Learning Center)
When? Although peer consultants can help at the last minute, we recommend seeing a peer consultant at least a week before your assignment is due. Fall 2013 hours:
Monday: 11:00 am – 5:30 pm & 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 2:00 pm & 2:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Wednesday: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm & 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm (noon) & 2:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Friday: 12:00 pm (noon) – 3:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am –1:00 pm & 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
How? To make an appointment, click here. Appointments are encouraged, but not necessary. You may also come in on a drop-in basis if a peer consultant is available. Read the FAQs listed below before coming to your appointment.
Who? Trained peer consultants will help any UW-L student.
Questions, ideas, or feedback? Email Dr. Tony Docan-Morgan at email@example.com
Peer consultants (pictured left to right): Troy Brooks, Karissa Kostka, Meg Schilling, Danica Gullicksrud, Lucas Schneider, Ryan Fox, Noelle Griffiths, Beth Rayome (foreground), Nellie Cupp (background)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Who comes to the Center and why?
- What should I bring to my appointment?
- What will happen at the beginning of my appointment?
- How long do appointments last?
- Can I practice my presentation and receive feedback?
- Can I receive feedback on my content and organization?
- Will coming to the Center increase my grade?
- What have students said about the Public Speaking Center?
- Is the Public Speaking Center new to campus?
- Where can I find resources about public speaking?
- How do I apply to be a peer consultant at the Center?
Students from all majors can use the Public Speaking Center. If your goal as a speaker is to inform or persuade an audience, we can help. We offer assistance with:
- Topic selection
- Audience analysis
- Content development
- Organizing ideas
- Preparation outlines
- Delivery outlines and speaking notes
- Delivery (hand and facial gestures, vocal tone)
- Audio-visual aids
- Managing speaking anxiety
Please bring a copy of your course syllabus, assignment directions and rubric, and any notes or drafts. Feel free to bring in electronic versions of your work as well.
At the beginning of your appointment, a peer consultant will assess your needs by having you complete this form. Please be ready to explain what you would like to get out of the appointment.
Appointments are generally scheduled for 30 minutes. However, they can be shorter or longer depending on your needs. Feel free to visit the Public Speaking Center multiple times for a single assignment.
Yes! A peer consultant can watch you practice and provide feedback on your delivery and/or content. The Public Speaking Center is equipped with Dell and Mac laptops, a large monitor for practicing with visual aids (i.e., PowerPoint), podium, and video cameras if you would like your practice session taped.
Yes! A peer consultant can provide feedback on content development, outlines, and organization of ideas.
Our goal is to help you be as successful as possible for your presentations. Most students who meet with a peer consultant during a 30-minute appointment leave with approximately five specific suggestions for improvement. Receiving feedback from a peer consultant is just one step in preparing a presentation. Students should recognize that they are ultimately responsible for their performance on their assignments, and that the feedback they receive may or may not affect their grade positively or negatively.
Please also note that the Center will not:
- Write speeches for students.
- Guarantee a perfectly composed and/or delivered presentation.
- Guess (or second guess) grades.
I learned the difference between keyword and preparation outlines and figured out how to use outline format better.
It was good to get practice talking in front of someone rather than out loud to myself. [In the future I will] take a deep breath before I begin and slow down.
The comments she made about specific delivery techniques (gestures, eye contact) were helpful. I also got good ideas about how to keep myself on track when I’m speaking.
Our meeting was useful because we worked on transitions between main points.
I have a problem with talking really fast and I learned some things that I feel will actually help me not only before, but while I give my speech.
Yes! During the 2012-2013 academic year, we piloted the Center with three peer consultants and served CST 110 classes primarily. During this time, we found both student and instructor interest and need. We were invited to join the Murphy Learning Center as of Fall 2013. We’re excited about serving all UW-L students and look forward to continually improving and growing. Dr. Tony Docan-Morgan is directing the Center and welcomes feedback and ideas from students, faculty, and staff. Feel free to meet with, call, or email him: 4231 Centennial Hall, 608-785-6722, firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the bookshelves in the Public Speaking Center for various textbooks, manuals, and resources. The below guide sheets offer general rules of thumb for developing presentations:
- Select and narrow your topic
- Analyze your audience
- Create a preparation outline and speaking outline
- Develop supporting material
- Use creative and vivid language
- Design and use visual aids
- Practice delivery
- Manage speaking anxiety
Resources for giving research presentations will be available soon. Have ideas for resources? Contact Dr. Tony Docan-Morgan at email@example.com