Sweaty palms. Shortness of breath. Increased heart rate. These are just a few of the symptoms of public speaking anxiety, also known as glossophobia.
Speech and presentation apprehension affects an estimated 73 percent of the population – a staggering statistic considering 70 percent of employed Americans stated that they consider presentation skills critical to their success at work. Luckily, research has shown that practice and preparation can significantly reduce pre-speech anxiety.
In order to help students prepare for presentations and improve speaking confidence, Edinboro University has launched a Speaking and Presentation Center (SPC) in room 243 of Baron-Forness Library. The center offers consultation services for students seeking help with individual speeches, group presentations and interview assignments.
"The SPC allows students to receive personalized assistance," said Dr. Melissa Gibson, faculty advisor who helped launch the center. "Many people have high speaking anxiety, and having coaching to help them through the process is very valuable."
Staffed by Makayla Murray and Corey Wefing, graduate assistants in the Department of Communication, Journalism and Media, the SPC is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Students can sign up for appointments through Starfish in myEdinboro.
“It takes practice,” said Murray. “My public speaking in high school didn’t go that well, to be honest, but that’s because I didn’t practice.”
Similar to EU’s Writing Center, the SPC is open to students from all academic disciplines. Individual guidance is available to students as they research, outline and construct presentations, as well as specific feedback on delivery and visual aids.
“It’s a very judgment free zone,” Wefing said. “We love meeting students, and we just really want to help."
For more information, contact the Speaking and Presentation Center at (814) 732-1243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.