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Speech Lab helps students improve public speaking skills

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 18:11


Photo by Phil Galaras/Propectus News

Students who visit the Speech Lab have access to practice aids such as a podium, television and a white board.

Few things inspire fear and loathing as much as having to speak in front of a group of people in a formal setting. In fact, public speaking is one of the most common fears present in our society today.

Despite the amount of dread associated with speaking in a public setting, it is one of the most important skills to possess in both the academic and professional world.

The Parkland College Speech Lab, located in room C-240, offers students a relaxing atmosphere in which they can shed their fear of public speaking and receive professional help fine tuning particular speeches or polishing their ability to speak publicly.

"I remember the days when we had to give speeches in class to be pretty nerve wracking," general studies student Doug Goldman stated. "The key to performing your best in any public speaking situation is being as prepared and practiced as you can possibly be."

The Speech Lab offers myriad ways in which to prepare for any public speaking event. First, the faculty members working in the lab will help individuals from the ground up, starting with the creation of a clear and concise outline.

Once the speech has been properly assembled, students participating in the Speech Lab's services have the ability to be videotaped while delivering their speech.

"The lab is both PC and Mac compatible," Brian Cafarelli, Director of Forensics and coach of the Parkland Debate team, explained. "As a service, we can tape your speeches and put them on media so that you can take them home for critiques and further analysis."

"Seeing yourself on video is perhaps the best way to improve your public speaking skills," Jesse Carlson stated. "Although hearing your own voice is kind of weird at first, you can really identify areas that need improvement, like your nervous ticks, the speed at which you are speaking and the amount of eye contact you make with the audience."

Aside from the fact that taking a speech class is a requirement for the majority of students at Parkland, public speaking is a crucial skill to possess in the professional world. The individual that can speak publicly with skill and confidence has a definite advantage over those who cannot.

"In today's competitive market for employment, employers demand excellent communication skills," Cafarelli pointed out. "Public speaking is naturally a difficult task, most people need a little help or extra motivation. The Speech Lab gives students the opportunity to experience and master public speaking skills in a supportive, low risk environment."

The Speech Lab is open not only to students, but to faculty and Parkland employees, as well.

Staffed by tenured faculty members and other qualified speaking specialists, the Speech Lab is an incredibly beneficial service. The lab is designed to help anyone who is willing to take the time and put in the effort to become a confident and effective public speaker.

"This service is free and gives everyone, regardless of skill or economic status, access to expert analysis and guidance," Cafarelli stated. "Therefore, you are as prepared as you can possibly be come time to present your speech, be it in class or in front of the Board of Directors of your future employer."

Those individuals wishing to take advantage of the Speech lab's free and valuable services, can set up a meeting time by e-mailing the lab at

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