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Public Speaking Center

The Public Speaking Center supports student success by providing quality peer-to-peer consulting for all UWL students seeking assistance on oral presentations. Peer consultants aid students with topic selection, outlines, content development, delivery, audio-visual aids, managing speaking anxiety, and increasing confidence. 

Public Speaking Center - Hours and Appointments

To make an appointment, CLICK HERE

The Public Speaking Center is open spring semester starting Monday, January 30th! We will be open on Monday from 8-10:30 AM, 11AM-8:30PM, Tuesday from 8AM-10:30AM, 11AM-2PM, 2:30PM-5PM, 5:30PM-7:30PM, Wednesday from 8AM-10:30AM, 11AM-8:30PM, Thursday from 9AM-5PM, 5:30PM-7:30PM, Friday 9:30AM-4PM, and Sunday 2PM-9PM. We will be closed on Saturday.

We are located in Murphy 251 (within the Murphy Learning Center). We recommend seeing a peer consultant at least one week before your assignment is due. To make an appointment, CLICK HERE. Appointments are recommended. Drop-ins are welcome if a peer consultant is available. Read the frequently asked questions before coming to your appointment.


Peruse our 2015-2016 Yearly Report for information regarding our growth, outreach, assessments, and goals.

Discover additional tutoring services on campus by visiting the Murphy Learning Center page. Find additional student success resources by clicking here.

The Public Speaking Center at UWL is one of fifteen communication centers in the United States that has a training program certified by the National Association of Communication Centers.



Contact Terry Smith, Public Speaking Center Director, at or 608.785.8523 for questions, ideas, and feedback. Find us on Facebook.

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Who comes to the Center and why?  

Students from all majors can use the Public Speaking Center. Trained, undergraduate peer consultants will help any UWL student. If your goal as a speaker is to inform or persuade an audience, we can help. We offer assistance with:   

  • Topic selection 
  • Audience analysis logo
  • Content development
  • Organizing ideas 
  • Preparation outlines twitter
  • Delivery outlines and speaking notes 
  • Delivery (hand and facial gestures, vocal tone) 
  • Audio-visual aids 
  • Managing speaking anxiety 

What should I bring to my appointment?  

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.  

What will happen at the beginning of my appointment?  

At the beginning of your appointment, a peer consultant will ask you to complete an assessment form in order to learn more about you, your assignment, and needs. Please be ready to explain what you would like to get out of the appointment.  

How long do appointments last?  

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.  

Can I practice my presentation and receive feedback?  

Yes! A peer consultant can watch you practice and provide feedback on your delivery and/or content. The Public Speaking Center is equipped with a laptop, a large monitor for practicing with visual aids (i.e., PowerPoint), and video camera if you would like your practice session taped.  

Can I receive feedback on my content and organization?  

Yes! A peer consultant can provide feedback on content development, outlines, and organization of ideas.  

Will coming to the Center increase my grade?  

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.  

What is the history of the Public Speaking Center?  

During the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Tony Docan-Morgan and undergraduate student Lindsay Swiggum piloted the Center and found student and instructor interest and need. During the 2013-2014 academic year, we received a permanent home in the Murphy Learning Center, hired 11 peer consultants, provided over 500 student consultations, and hosted six workshops on topics ranging from managing public speaking anxiety, extemporaneous delivery, using creative and vivid language, and using PowerPoint. During 2014-2015, our training program was certified by the National Association of Communication Centers, we had over 1,200 student consultations, and we created and hosted the Public Speaking Competition. During 2015-2016, we had over 1,500 student consultations and delivered 40 public speaking workshops on campus. We’re excited about serving all UWL students and look forward to continued growth and usage. 


See our 2012-2015 and 2015-2016 reports for additional information regarding our growth, outreach, assessments, and goals. 

Who supports the Public Speaking Center?  

The Center is supported by the Department of Communication Studies and Murphy Learning Center. We've also received the following grants: College of Liberal Studies (CLS) Small Grant,  CLS Technology Grant, and CATL Faculty Development Grant. 

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Public Speaking Basics (click links below)

  1. Select and narrow your topic
  2. Analyze your audience
  3. Create a preparation outline and speaking outline (.pdf) (.doc)
  4. Develop supporting material
  5. Find, evaluate, and cite sources
  6. Use creative/vivid language and gender inclusive language
  7. Engage the audience
  8. Design and use visual aids
  9. Practice delivery
  10. Manage speaking anxiety

Informative Speaking - Resources and Examples

  • Austin MacKenzie's purpose was to inform the audience about spray paint art and to teach them how to create an original piece of spray art. Files: Speech videopreparation outline

Persuasive Speaking - Resources and Examples

  • Charlotte Plehn's purpose was to persuade the audience to support physician assisted death choices. Charlotte won the 2015-2016 Public Speaking Competition. File:Speech video
  • Megan Graham's purpose was to persuade the audience to support music in our schools. Megan was a finalist in the 2015-2016 Public Speaking Competition. File:Speech video
  • Oliva Tasch's purpose was to persuade the audience to donate blood. Olivia was a finalist in the 2015-2016 Public Speaking Competition. File: Speech video
  • Rachel Bernard's purpose was to persuade and motivate the audience to take action in fighting illiteracy. Rachel was a finalist in the 2015-2016 Public Speaking Competition. File: Speech video
  • Carly Boles's purpose was to persuade the audience to take a stand against trophy hunting of lions. Carly was a finalist in the 2015-2016 Public Speaking Competition. File: Speech video
  • Cassie Wessing's purpose was to persuade the audience to reduce the amount of time they spend on social media. Cassie was a finalist in the 2015-2016 Public Speaking Competition. File: Speech video

Library/research tutorials

For additional help and questions regarding library resources and research, contact one of the UWL instructional librarians listed below. Both work closely with students in CST 110.


Have ideas for resources? Contact Terry Smith at
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Allison Shaver
Allison Shaver
(Lead Peer Consultant) Secondary Education Biology and Broadfield Science

As a peer consultant, I help my fellow college students in the same way that so many peer consultants helped me last year when I took CST 110. My goal is to help speakers feel confident and ready to master their speech after coming into the Public Speaker Center.

Quote to live by: "People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Ellie Peters
Ellie Peters
(Lead Peer Consultant) Organizational and Professional Communication

As a peer consultant, I work to aid my peers in speech preparation and delivery. I assist in brainstorming speech topics, look over speech outlines, listen to my peers give their speeches, and provide feedback when needed.

Quote to live by: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Samantha Ozbelen
Samantha Ozbelen
(Lead Peer Consultant) Organizational & Professional Communication Studies Minor: Professional & Technical Writing

As a peer consultant, I provide quality consulting to help better a student's overall attitude and performance towards public speaking, while boosting their confidence and comfort levels as a public speaker.   

Quote to Live By: "In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision." - Dalai Lama

Devyn Prielipp
Devyn Prielipp
Organizational and Professional Communication with a minor in Business Administration

As a peer consultant, I strive to provide a positive experience with the use of constructive criticism while simultaneously instilling confidence in the student.

Quote to Live By: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. - Charles Swindoll

Carly Ferguson
Carly Ferguson
Radiation Therapy

As a peer consultant, I help others gain confidence and experience in a skill that is necessary for all career paths. Public speaking does not have to be an intimidating task, and practice is one of the best ways to feel confident about an upcoming speech or presentation.

Quote to live by: "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." -Eeyore

Tessa Kraemer
Tessa Kraemer
Interpersonal Communications

As a peer consultant, I work with other students to provide the best possible feedback to help them do well on their speech. My goal is to help students feel confident about their topic and understand that public speaking is more than just a class, it’s a life skill.

Quote to live by: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. -- Oscar Wilde 

Kali Moumblow
Kali Moumblow
Communication Studies with an emphasis in Organizational and Professional Communication

As a peer consultant, I aim to provide my fellow students with all of the credentials to be a well-versed and confident public speaker.

Quote to live by: “Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say” -Mitch Albom

Miles Pitman
Miles Pitman
Communication Criticism & Rhetoric

As a peer consultant,instill confidence and empowerment for students feeling anxious about their projects. I provide creative feedback and assist with developing student's thoughts and ideas into the message that they wish to convey toward their particular audience.  

Quote to live by: "The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates, Plato's Apology

Cal U
Cal U'Ren
Communication Studies with an emphasis in Broadcast and Digital Media

As a peer consultant, I help students gain confidence in their speaking ability as well as themselves, I hope that each consolation provides positive results and allows the student to be stress free going into their presentation.

Quote to live by: "Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another." -Ernest Hemingway

Emily Edelman
Emily Edelman
Communication Studies with an emphasis in Organizational and Professional Communication

As a peer consultantI believe public speaking is an important tool to have for the business world, but it’s a skill that not everyone feels comfortable using. My goal is to make students feel more prepared and relaxed about sharing their speeches in front of their peers. I want to be one more resource for students to use to make them the most successful public speaker they can be. In this position not only do I enjoy helping other students with their speeches, but I also love hearing all of their stories, interests, and opinions to open my eyes and make my thinking more well rounded.  

Quote to live by: “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.” – Vince Lombardi

Anna Olson
Anna Olson
Organizational and Professional Communication

As a peer consultant, I strive to help students understand the speech writing process and to allow them to feel confident in their ability to create and present great speeches.

Quote to live by: “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted” ~ David Bly.

Hannah Boetttcher
Hannah Boetttcher
Communication Studies with an emphasis in Broadcast and Digital Media and French

Quote to Live By: "Don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, because the world needs people who come alive" ~ Howard Thurman 

Austin Simonis
Austin Simonis
Organizational and Professional Communication Studies

As a peer consultant, I am driven to help those around me succeed as public speakers. My goal is to help my peers overcome their speaking anxiety while delivering phenomenal speeches. After a visit with the Public Speaking Center students will have the skills necessary to build and deliver excellent presentations no matter the class.

Quote to live by: “Ya gotta wanna.” – Annonymous

Megan Graham
Megan Graham
English Literature

As a peer consultant, I help students learn to approach public speaking opportunities with confidence and strive to implement different techniques that will help each student based on their own specific goals.  I believe that students should leave the Public Speaking Center feeling equipped to present well and to use the strategies we discuss in the future.

Quote to live by:  "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” - J.K. Rowling

Amber Combs
Amber Combs
Biomedical Sciences

As a peer consultant, I hope to be able to help my fellow students gain confidence in and improve their speaking abilities. I want my peers to gain a better understanding of why speech is important for all majors, minors, and careers.

Quote to live by: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -Albus Dumbledore

Charlotte Plehn
Charlotte Plehn
Organizational and Professional Communication

As a peer consultant I aim to get each student to recognize their strengths and work to fix their weaknesses!  I want students to feel confident in their writing and performance.

Quote: "Our biggest regret in life should not be failing, but rather, succeeding at things that do not truly matter." –Unknown

Emily Rekow
Emily Rekow
Communications (Advocacy)

As a peer consultant, I believe having public speaking skills can get you so far in life because so few people like to do it. But having the tips and tricks to public speaking, will get you ahead in any job you seek. 

Quote to live by: Do or do not, there is no try.

Olivia Tasch
Olivia Tasch
Communications Studies with an emphasis in Organizational and Professional Communication and a Pre-Optometry Track

As a peer consultant, my goal is to openly listen and provide helpful feedback for students' to gain confidence in their public speaking anxieties, concerns, and questions. I want everybody to leave the Public Speaking Center with a strong belief in themselves because, to me, that is the most important aspect of public speaking. 

Quote to live by:  "Aspire to inspire before you expire" -Eugene Bell Jr. 

Chelle Zeng
Chelle Zeng
Rhetoric and composition

 As a peer consultant, I am trying hard to help my fellow students overcome the difficulties during speeches. I hope more international students will feel comfortable doing presentations.

Quote to live by: "A man is only as good as what he loves." ---unknown

Dylan Wojtkowski
Dylan Wojtkowski
Marketing with a Organizational and Professional Communications second major

As a peer consultant, I believe that public speaking is a valuable skill that can further both personal and professional development. My goal is to not only help students give the best presentation possible by helping with their strengths and weaknesses, but to ensure that they continue to learn and grow from our sessions. I want to make sure students feel not only comfortable working with me but also comfortable and confident with themselves.

Quote to Live By: "People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. Live your truth and don't ever stop!" - Steve Maraboli