Frequently Asked Questions

Hours

Fall & Spring Semester
Monday-Thursday: 10am-7pm
Friday: 9am-Noon
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 4pm-8pm

100% online for the fall

Faculty Tips: Procedures and Operations

University Speaking Center Procedures and Operations Update

Schedule of operation:

The Communication Consultants will return to classes and immediately start attending two weeks of staff training. Consultants can do a center orientation for you soon after the semester starts.  We can schedule in-classroom workshops to begin as early as the second week of the semester (with your request coming to us two weeks in advance and subject to availability). We will officially open The University Speaking Center for consultations the third week of the semester. Our regular hours of operation will end on the last day of the semester. We will offer very limited hours during exam week. We are closed on reading day. Students who need support before we open should email speakctr@uncg.edu, we will be sure to get them the support they need.

We support:

Students, faculty, and staff in the areas of public, interpersonal, and group communication.

Appointments:

We offer 30 or 60 minute sessions which actually last 20 or 50 minutes. All 50 minute sessions start on the hour because our staffing changes on the top of the hour. When we take appointments we listen to needs identified by the client and schedule a 30 or 60 minute session as we see fit. If you are planning to require your students to utilize the center for a consultation, please be sure your students know what you expect of them before they call or stop by to make an appointment.

Our consultation services are currently taking place via Google Meet.

The Online Speaking Center offers support for organization or practice of individual or group speeches. We can also help speakers to set goals for their next speech by viewing their last speech together then entering into dialogue about speech making.  More info: https://speakingcenter.uncg.edu/services/online-consultations/

Two day policy:

The latest that we can help a speaker in the form of one-on-one consultation is two days before their final presentation. We schedule all appointments according to this two day policy. Occasionally a student speaker will misrepresent their final presentation date when making their appointment. When this happens we do not proceed with the scheduled consultation. We are happy to give tip sheets to students who stop by. We do not track who stops by for such.

Definition of Presentation as it Relates to Our Two Day Policy:

Speech making has long been identified as a process.  Our primary focus in supporting public speaking is to get folks to understand this fact – it is a process.  A speech cannot be developed at the last minute.  More on the process is outlined on one of our tip sheets. 

Generally, at UNCG, student presentations are extemporaneous oral communication speech acts.  In such they require advanced planning, practice, and are delivered from brief notes.  We can help these speakers at any point in the process – as long as their first visit to work on it is not closer than two days before the speech is to be presented or uploaded for a grade

Some majors on campus put forth manuscript delivery style presentations (like media studies). The manuscript speech is also planned and practiced in advance then the presenter reads it word for word from a manuscript. We can help these speakers at any point in the process – as long as  their first visit to work on it is not closer than two days before the speech is to be presented or uploaded for a grade

We do work with poetry students who have to memorize their presentations. Acting students do the same. They practice in advance and then present with no notes.   We can help speakers who need to memorize their presentaion at any point in the process – as long as their first visit to work on it is not closer than two days before the speech is to be presented or uploaded for a grade

We also support students who will give impromptu speeches in their classes.  In this delivery situation the speaker gets little to no notice of their speaking engagement.  The only way we can help these students is by having them practice impromptu speaking.  We cannot help them with their actual speech – that would not be impromptu. We have somewhat random topics that we can assign to these speakers just before they move to the front of our rooms to give an impromptu speech on the topic.

Low stakes classroom speaking also happens across campus.  It is true that not every speech act which happens for a class needs to be practiced in advance.  If however a student wants to get our support before a low stakes speaking assignment we can help these speakers at any point in their process – as long as their first visit to work on it is not closer than two days before the speech is to be presented or uploaded for a grade.

Report Forms:

Speakers who come for sessions receive an electronic copy of their report. Faculty who wish to know that their students have participated in sessions should ask the student to provide proof.  All student speakers can provide faculty with the electronic form.   Electronic forms are sent via UNCG email.  These messages can be forwarded by students or the pdf can be uploaded to Canvas. 

Deadlines:

If you plan to require your students to visit the center and it involves a specific class assignment, please set an early deadline for the student to complete their visit. This will cut down on speakers looking to come in so late that we cannot really offer them much help (see our two day policy). This should also improve the final presentation you experience in your classroom. Some faculty members have reported success with setting a Friday deadline for speeches that start the following week. Most students with a Friday deadline will plan to come in on Thursday becasue e close at noon on Friday. If you have multiple sections on the same calendar we will need to work with you on scheduling to ensure we have enough staff on hand.  You can contact our coordinator to set this up jskelly@uncg.edu

At the close of all consultations we invite student speakers to make an appointment to come back again. While we require that students schedule their first appointment to take place no later than two days before the class/final presentation, we are happy to schedule a follow up to take place the next day.

Web page:

Over the years, we’ve added a FAQ section, on-line request forms for workshops and orientations, a chat box, and many other resources. We hope you and your students find our web site, which can be accessed at speakingcenter.uncg.edu, of use.

Missed Appointments:

“No shows” can be a problem. If we recognize a pattern of no shows for any particular course we will inform the faculty member.

Policies in the Center:

We follow the guides set by UNCG’s academic integrity policy. We do not write speeches for student speakers, we support the development of speeches. Each speaker will leave the center with a copy of their report form to aid them in incorporating our feedback and employing the plan they devised. To aid us in offering the best help possible, we ask each speaker to complete a short electronic opinion survey (at the close of their session). We abide by FERPA guides and follow our own Code of Ethics.

Consultant Training:

Our consultants are trained listeners who are prepared to enter into dialogue designed to advance a student-speaker’s oral communication competencies.  They are not subject experts.  They do not have training that correlates with the subject matter which speakers are learning via oral communication activities and assignments. They are not substitutes for subject expert faculty members but rather they work in a place that exists between the student and the faculty member. We see ourselves as working to support faculty when we work with their students.

The consultant training, which is nationally certified as appropriate, comes in the form of a required three credit speaking center theory and practice academic study.  The study includes experiential components which happen in the speaking center itself. Basically, during the course of the semester, the students in the class first shadow our current consultants then they lead sessions with the consultants in the room supporting them, and by the end of the semester they are going solo.  By way of pedagogical design, our consultants have already worked to support nearly all types of assignments before they are hired the following semester.

A Consultant Profile can be obtained on our Web page.

Tip Sheets:

Our oral communication tip sheets have become a popular in-class resource for faculty members. The tip sheets are available on our Web page under resources. We hope you find these useful. Upon your request, we would be happy to send paper copies for your students directly to your office. Most faculty members instruct their students to access tip sheets directly from the web or provide URLs in Canvas. If you need a new oral communication tip sheet created for a course assignment, please let us know. We welcome every opportunity to help in supporting the SI elements of your course(s).

Center Orientation:

Gone are the days when we stood in front of a class and told them how wonderful our services are. We now teach students that speech making is a 5 step process. In doing so we have students participate in a fun activity which ensures that they understand what the process is and they know how we can support them in each step, plus they have had a positive experience in our center. In the Speaking Center we are reworking our orientation efforts for the fall 2020 semester. We hope to offer a live orientation via Zoom or other platforms preferred by individual instructors. For now, we offer our orientation video.

Instructional Support:

When faculty members invite us into the classroom to support their teaching, our team of faculty and graduate students works with them to develop a workshop that focus on the oral communication goals identified by the faculty member. We understand that each discipline has their own ways of communicating and so we embrace supporting those specifics. Our workshops provide participant-centered interactive learning modules on any topic regarding public, interpersonal, and group communication.

We can facilitate these workshops remotely yet still live for f2f or online classes. We can provide a prerecorded workshop. We also can create a Canvas module for faculty use in Canvas. If you are looking for something shorter, we can produce micro-learning videos for use in Canvas. 

For more information and to request an oral communication instructional workshop, micro-learning video, or module for Canvas click here!

Group Consultations:

Group sessions will continue to be scheduled to start on the hour because of how our staff shifts are scheduled. If a group is not ready to start their session by five minutes past the scheduled appointment time, the appointment will need to be rescheduled.   Groups of four or more may be scheduled to work with two consultants at the same time.

We can start a group consultation with an incomplete group. Groups can come in ready to run through their presentation or to conduct a planning meeting. We continue to offer conflict management sessions to groups who request such assistance.

For credit:

Some faculty members offer their students extra credit for coming to the center while others require it. We believe this is a great way to get students to learn that speech making is a process. In 2012 research from Southern Mississippi found that students will not go to a communication center unless a faculty members communicates value for doing so.  If faculty at UNCG want their students to come to see us, students need to hear that from faculty.

We ask that faculty who send their students be specific as to what they want students to do. Unlike other support organizations on campus, we are not set up to help student speakers unless they have a specific oral speech/communication improvement goal in mind. For example, they might come in to practice a speech they are working on, view a previously recorded speech and set goals for the next speech, get assistance with choosing a topic, seek strategies for increasing their own interpersonal assertiveness, or want to become a better listener. If students are not clear about what they are to work on when they visit they often tell us that they are just there to get credit. 

Call to make an appointment:

Please encourage your students to schedule their online center appointments as soon as they receive related assignments. This will ensure an appointment that works best around their busy schedules (252) 538-3407

E- reserve:

In the resources section of our Web page, you will find chapters from oral communication texts that might serve your class well. Please let us know if you need us to add any additional chapters.

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