Speech and listening are vital parts of our everyday lives. The Barnard Speaking Fellows Program (founded in 2007) supports students as they practice and develop their verbal and non-verbal communication skills within and beyond academic spaces.
Speaking Fellow workshops create space for students to explore and practice their style of speaking. There, Speaking Fellows provide constructive feedback and encouragement about the decisions students’ make when sharing information. It is not the role of the Speaking Fellow to prescribe methods of how students should communicate. Speaking Fellows value the authentic styles of each speaker and aim to assist students as they articulate what they want to say and explore how best to say it to their intended audience. Authenticity and ethos matters more than any form of rhetorical device.
In addition, our mission, as Speaking Fellows, is to foster connection between speakers and their audience through programming that affords students the opportunity to practice active listening. By developing skills such as active listening, we are empowered to create environments where all voices are valued.