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Kara, Communication Consultant

As a consultant I get to help students with a wide variety of tasks and assignments. I have gotten to help speakers with every stage of the speech making process. Not only do I get to help speakers with a wide variety of assignments, but I also get to work with a wide variety of speakers. I get to work with our typical undergraduate speakers, speakers with disabilities, graduate speakers, as well as international and nonnative speakers. While I enjoy all the work that I get to do while I am at the speaking center, my favorite speaking center story would probably come from a more typical consultation.

I had just begun working as a consultant and I was both nervous and excited for all my consultations. This one speaker came in and I could tell that they were nervous and uncomfortable. They were there to practice a speech before they had to present the next week. After I introduced myself and went over how the consultation would go, they got up to present. At the beginning of their speech they were shaky and had a very timid and quiet voice.  Once they had finished their presentation, they sat down and were red in the face from having to stand and speak out loud. We went over the parts of the speech and speech delivery that they had successfully demonstrated, then we went over the parts of the speech and speech delivery that they could work on. There presentation was short, around three minutes, so by the time we went through all of this we still had some time left over.

While I thought the speaker would be eager to leave, instead they asked to practice presenting it one more time. This time that the speaker presented, they were able to make eye contact and really project their voice. It was such a huge change from the shy and timid presentation that I had witnessed just moments before. After they presented, and before I could even go over how much their speech delivery had improved, they were thanking me for going over the things that they could work on and telling them what they had successfully demonstrated. Going over what they had successfully demonstrated and giving feedback on areas for continued improvement, as well as the steps they could take to work on them, gave them the piece of mind and the confidence they needed to feel proud about what they were presenting. This was one of the biggest changes I had seen in a speaker during my consultations. While all of my consultations are impactful, to me this one stands out because I could tell that I was really able to help this speaker and give them the push that they needed to make their presentation not only easier for them but also more clear and impactful for me as an audience member.


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