Schedule a Session

Speaking Fellows offer a variety of workshops and one-on-one sessions.  Navigate to each type by selecting from the list below.
> Public Speaking and the Intellectual Voice: NEW, 1-Hour Workshops Open to the Barnard/Columbia Community
> One-on-One Sessions
> Attached Courses


Public Speaking and the Intellectual Voice: NEW Workshops!

Public Speaking and the Intellectual Voice is a series of public speaking workshops open to the entire Barnard/Columbia community.  We have recently developed several concentrated, 1-hour workshops that draw on knowledge and activities from a variety of fields (including feminist theory, debate, negotiation strategies, even stand-up comedy!) to help you practice, improve, and experiment with your speaking style.  In all workshops, you can expect to be on your feet, trying out activities and engaging in meaningful discussions with the support of a Speaking Fellow and a small group of peer participants.

Barnard students of all disciplines are encouraged to sign up for any workshops, in any order.  Columbia students enrolled in a Barnard course are also welcome to sign up.  See below for a description of each workshop type.

Space is limited, so we encourage students to sign up as soon as possible.  To reserve your spot, sign up through our online scheduler.

Managing Public Speaking Anxiety
Monday, 4/28, 6-7pm
4-8 participants/workshop
In survey after survey, more people rank "public speaking" as their greatest fear than "death." Spend a low-key hour with a small group and a Speaking Fellow to learn how to recognize and manage your anxiety. We will discuss the psychology behind anxiety, learn tips and tricks to diminish anxiety and improve speech performance, and practice public speaking in a stress-free environment.
Speak Your Way to Success: Negotiation Techniques and Skills
Thursday, 5/1, 7-8pm
4-6 participants/workshop
People are often thrown off by negotiations. How do you best approach high-tension, high-stress situations that have so much riding on them (even though we all seem to always be in one)? How do you set up the room? What language do you use? How do you keep calm? This workshop focuses on how to navigate any type of negotiation (whether in the professional world or a dorm room dilemma that needs to be solved) and how to enter into the conversation feeling prepared and calm instead of heated and frustrated.
Preparing to be Unprepared: Improv and Speaking Anxiety
Tuesday, 4/1, 7-8pm
4-6 participants/workshop

We often find ourselves in speaking situations where we cannot fully prepare – a classroom discussion, a panel, or an interview, to name a few. Though these circumstances can lead to heightened anxiety (especially if you already feel tense about public speaking), there are methods to “prepare to be unprepared.” This session uses long form improv techniques as tools for getting more comfortable with impromptu speaking.
Debate Skills: The Basics
Thursday, 4/3, 5-6pm
Wednesday, 4/16, 3-4pm
4-6 participants/workshop

This session covers basic debate techniques through various skill-building exercises. Students will learn to concisely state an argument, respond directly to others' arguments, and defend their own arguments from attack. The skills learned in this workshop will help students argue more effectively in formal debate settings, classroom settings, and beyond.

Writing gets you an interview... Speaking gets you a job!
Friday, 4/4, 2-3pm
Friday, 4/11, 2-3pm
Friday, 4/11, 3:30-4:30pm
3 participants/workshop

Want to improve your interview skills?  Be able to answer questions more eloquently at job interviews?  In this one-hour workshop, craft and practice the content, organization, and delivery of your 30-second personal statement.  Learn to answer questions on-the-spot with poise and confidence, even while under pressure.

Use Them, Don’t Abuse Them: Using Visuals in a Presentation
Friday, 4/4, 3-4pm
Friday, 4/18, 2-3pm
4 participants/workshop

Whether it’s for a class, internship, or job, we have to deliver presentations. How do we make them dynamic and interesting?  We use visual aids. One challenge we face is how to use them properly so that they enhance our presentation rather than substitute for it. This session presents tips, tricks, and rules for when you are both designing and presenting with a visual. Learn about different visuals you can use, how to cater them to your audience, and how to present effectively while using them.

Tuesday, 4/8, 4:30-5:30pm
2-4 participants/workshop

This workshop guides you through the presentation-building process, from the generation of ideas to your delivery.  These skills can be applied to a range of contexts, such as presenting a research project or senior thesis, giving a speech for a special event, expressing your opinion on a reading for class, or even creating a short personal statement to have ready for a potential employer.  In a supportive, peer environment, you can feel comfortable experimenting with your speaking style, building the confidence to become a persuasive, dynamic speaker.

Class Discussions
Tuesday, 4/15, 7-8pm
4 participants/workshop

This workshop focuses on seminar discussion skills.  With the support of your peers, you will learn how to respond to your classmates' ideas effectively; how to challenge those ideas in insightful, productive ways; and how to take charge of and cultivate your speaking responsibilities at the seminar table.  Developing these skills will help you become a more reflective, creative thinker, no matter how comfortable (or uncomfortable) you are speaking up in class.

Critical Discourses on Identity
Not offered Spring, 2014
4-8 participants/workshop

Participants learn how to analyze, frame, and integrate their personal experiences into academic discussions, such as class discussions on race and ethnicity. Students discuss how to respond to class dynamics, negotiate authority in class, and critically position one's identity. Students also participate in a simulated class discussion. This session was created with perspectives from Beverly Daniel Tatum's book, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?


One-on-One Sessions

A one-on-one session gives you the opportunity to practice a specific presentation with the support of your own, personal Speaking Fellow.  Your Speaking Fellow can work with you on a range of skills, such as:

  • How to organize and structure your ideas
  • How to create a persuasive, well-reasoned argument
  • How to make key points in clear, precise ways
  • How to use visual aids
  • How to improve and polish your delivery

Speaking Fellows can work with you at any stage in the presentation-building process; however, the more material you bring to your session (i.e. an outline, any visual aids you plan to use, a practiced speech, or even just some ideas), the more you will benefit.

To give you plenty of time to revise and practice your presentation, we encourage you to schedule your one-on-one at least 3-7 days prior to your presentation date.  However, you can schedule a one-on-one as early as 14 days in advance, and are welcome to make follow-up appointments.

The Speaking Center will open for the Spring, 2014 semester on Tuesday, February 4th.  Sign-ups will become available one week prior, on Tuesday, January 28th.  Create an account through our online scheduler to receive updates and sign-up information when we repoen.


Attached Speaking Fellows (course-specific only)

If you are enrolled in a course with attached Speaking Fellows, please contact your Head Speaking Fellow for sign-up instructions.  Her contact information should be listed in your syllabus (if not, contact Cecelia Lie at or 212-854-8941).