A Matter of Speaking: Strategies to Enhance Student Public Speaking Skills in Virtual Higher Education Courses

Streamed Session

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Oral communication is essential in today’s workplace. This interactive session will explore effective and innovative ways to help online students acquire public speaking skills for workplace readiness.

Extended Abstract

This interactive session will explore effective and innovative ways in which online students can acquire public speaking skills that can help them become more workplace ready. Oral communication is an essential workplace skill according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). College curriculums have overwhelmingly relied on emphasizing written communication skills but have typically not invested the time and effort necessary to prepare students with the oral communication skills they will need in their professional careers. Career readiness is the ultimate outcome for the majority of students who engage in higher education. Providing students with the basic knowledge and related skills to engage in their field effectively has been and should continue to be the focus of curriculum design. However, once students actively engage in their field as professionals, they will be expected to demonstrate their acquired knowledge and for most people, that will rely quite heavily on oral communication. We have an obligation to our students to prepare them for that oral communication component as they make their way into the world. It is well known that a significant percentage of the general population suffers from public speaking anxiety. This inhibiting factor leads people to avoid situations where public speaking may be necessary such as students who select online learning as their primary mode of learning. Certainly, the avoidance of face to face interaction isn’t the only reason students prefer virtual education but it is a factor to be considered. Providing students with opportunities to gain more confidence in their public speaking skills as they pursue mastery of require knowledge is a double benefit for them. Level of Participation: In this session, participants will engage in the virtual environment by experiencing different ways in which oral communication strategies can work in the virtual classroom. Participants will be invited to brainstorm oral communication strategies and to assess their potential effectiveness toward strengthening student public speaking abilities and self-confidence in their own virtual classrooms. Session Goals Session takeaways for attendees will be ways in which they can integrate oral communication skills into their online curriculum design that will benefit student career-readiness.