The Speaking Fellows are specially trained Barnard students who work with speaking-intensive courses and other academically centered programs, helping students improve their presentation and class discussion skills. The program requires Speaking Fellows to be among Barnard’s best public speakers, and to have strong leadership and teaching abilities. We aim to cultivate and empower the speaking culture at Barnard by teaching students to be reflective about what they say and how they say it.
Sign up for Group Workshops
Public Speaking and the Intellectual Voice is a series of public speaking workshops open to the Barnard/Columbia community. We 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 improvisation) to help you practice, improve, and experiment with your speaking.
See below for this month's latest workshops. Space is limited, so please sign up as soon as possible. To reserve your spot, use our online scheduler.
Tuesday, 2/24 | 5-6PM in BAR 217
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.
Crafting an Effective Presentation
Friday, 2/27 | 4-5PM in BAR 217
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.
Speak Your Way to Success: Negotiation Techniques
Thursday, 3/5 | 4:30-5:30PM in BAR 205
Thursday, 3/5 | 6-7PM in BAR 217
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.
Writing gets you an interview... Speaking gets you a job!
Tuesday, 3/10 | 4:30-5:30PM in BAR 205
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.
Don't Panic: Managing Public Speaking Anxiety
Wednesday, 3/11 | 5-6:30PM in BAR 217
Friday, 4/10 | 4-5PM in BAR 217
In survey after survey, more people rank "public speaking" as their greatest fear. 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.
The Art of Persuasion: Crafting and Delivering a Persuasive Speech
Tuesday, 3/24 | 4:00-5:00PM in BAR 205
Persuasion is a necessary art. You may need to persuade your friends to pick you up from the airport, your peers to elect you club president, or your professors to support your research proposal. Join this workshop to learn how to craft and deliver a persuasive speech to various audiences.
Facilitating Effective Discussions
Tuesday, 3/31 | 4:00-6:00PM in BAR 205
In this workshop, you will practice facilitating a thoughtful seminar discussion to develop and structure your peers' contributions in class. By participating in and leading mock discussions on select topics, you will learn how to effectively elicit and respond to your classmates' ideas; challenge those ideas in productive, critical ways; and guide the overarching discussion to cultivate your responsibility as facilitator.
Learn about the Speaking Fellows' Annual Cicero Speech Contest (held earlier this Fall) from a Speaking Fellow's perspective.
Watch this short video to learn more about what the Speaking Fellows do:
Right Column Copy
What students say:
“I definitely feel so much more confident in my public speaking skills.”
“The Fellow was insightful, engaging, and fun. She made the two hours fly by.”
“I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it so much. Even though I consider myself a good speaker, I definitely learned a lot.”