Speech Department Workshop Series Helps Enhance Communication Skills

Students+poured+into+the+ILC+for+the+speech+faculty%27s+popular+presentation+on+developing+effective+public+speaking+skills.

Aaron Garrard/San Jacinto Times

Students poured into the ILC for the speech faculty's popular presentation on developing effective public speaking skills.

Room 102 of the Interactive Learning Center at San Jacinto College Central Campus filled to capacity Wednesday, Oct. 15 during a workshop presented by the Central campus speech department.

Professors Shera Carter-Sackey and Julie Williams outlined the fundamentals of effective speech communication for those in attendance.

“The most important motivations behind this event are to offer an opportunity for all students and employees to improve their communication skills; predominantly their public speaking,” Williams said.

According to Carter-Sackey, the workshop series is in its second year and aims to support students in all academic areas.

“We decided to host it because most classes require that students give an oral presentation, and we wanted to serve the larger San Jacinto College community,” she said.

Furthermore, Carter-Sackey added, the workshops have proven to be very popular among San Jac students.

“We had over 80 students attend the first workshop this school year and last year; over 200 students took part in our workshop series,” she said.

Additionally, Carter-Sackey notes, the events specifically target a few key areas.

“Our workshops help students to overcome speaking anxiety, structure their presentations, connect with their audience, and deliver an effective oral presentation,” she added.

Meanwhile, Williams said although the workshops are organized by Central campus faculty, they draw attendance from the entire San Jac district.

“We have, however, had students, staff, and faculty from all three campuses attend and even request additional workshops for the staff,” she said.

Moreover, Williams said the speech department, at times, tailors the presentations to address the needs of particular groups.

“We’ve even customized a set of workshops for the staff (district wide) and the 2nd year Ophthalmology students at Central campus,” she added.

Although, Williams said, it is difficult to gauge exactly how helpful the workshops are, audience feedback demonstrates attendees appreciate the content.

“We receive good reviews from the participants,” Williams said, “at the end of each session.”