The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW instructor offers speech advice

By Shirlett Warren/reporter

The secret of public speaking is sincerity, a NW speech instructor told about 70 students Sept. 13.

In her speech Speak Up, Carol Hunsberger said most professors require students to give oral presentations in class to prepare them for the workplace.

In addition to giving pointers on how to put together a presentation, she said students need to understand what “butterflies” are and how to manage them.

“I’ve given thousands of speeches all over the world, and I’ll admit to you, I was a little nervous before speaking to you today,” she said.

Butterflies are a chemical response to stay or flee, Hunsberger said. And while nervousness is a real feeling, it can give a speaker an extra edge if managed correctly.

She said the best way for students to minimize nervousness about giving speeches is to pick topics they know about, pick topics that interest them, practice and develop a positive attitude.

“Your audience wants you to be successful,” she said.

Hunsberger distributed a handout that outlined the elements of a good public presentation. Before explaining the points, she took a sip of water. Then she said that taking a water break is a good thing during a speech.

“Taking a sip of water gives you a mental break, and you don’t want your mouth to get dry,” she said as the audience laughed.

A good public presentation takes commitment, a solid topic, a sense of purpose, audience participation, substance, appropriate structure and skillful language, Hunsberger said.

Students should picture themselves succeeding as speakers, act confidently and know their audience, she said.

“I’ve been booed before,” she said. “It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.”

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