There are several courses at Salt Lake Community College that require some form of public speaking.
Oral presentations leave many students feeling apprehensive. As a result, SLCC communication faculty have set up a Presentation Skills Lab to help all students improve their public speaking skills.
“We realized that there were students who were able to get help with written communication skills … but [not] for oral communication,” says Sarah Billington, director and originator of the lab. “We thought the Communication Department should be the ones responsible for providing tutoring for oral communication. After all, that is what we teach!”
Tutors and communication instructors who work in the lab can advise students on how to give a presentation, how to use presentation software and how to prepare for public speaking events.
“They [students] will learn anything they may need help on or questions they may have that deal with oral communication, specifically focusing on public presentations,” Billington says.
The free lab is designed for more than communication courses; any student can learn how to build effective presentations for a variety of subjects, including math, science, history and the arts.
The eventual goal of the Presentation Skills Lab is to function at a level similar to the Student Writing Center. However, more students need to use the current lab in order to get to that point.
Since the beginning of the semester, the lab is averaging between seven and 11 students per session. Billington hopes the lab will continue to grow and that “students will come and get help with anything related to oral communication and public speaking.”
The Presentation Skills Lab is open from 3 to 5 p.m. during the second and fourth Tuesday of the month; staff work out in South City Campus room 2-139 on the second Tuesday and the Taylorsville Redwood Campus room TB 309 on the fourth Tuesday.
Contact Sarah Billington for more information.