Speaking Fellows


Storytelling? Advocacy? Prizes?

SpeechFest celebrates various forms, styles, and linguistic choices used when speaking in public. Participating students have a platform to advocate for issues or share stories with their peers, faculty, staff and members of the larger community.

There are two categories: advocacy (competitive) and creative (non-competitive)*. Each participant will work closely with a Speaking Fellow to develop their speech, presentation, poem, or story and then deliver it to a live audience at SpeechFest. They will also receive a small prize, and the winner of the advocacy category will be awarded a significant cash prize also.

Meet with a Speaking Fellow

Through peer-to-peer workshops, Speaking Fellows help students articulate what they want to say and how they want to express those ideas to others. One-to-one workshops are hosted in the speaking center*, where Fellows empower students to explore, question, and reflect on their speaking and listening skills.

*All appointments are hosted on Zoom

Become a Speaking Fellow!

Speaking Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds, not all related to public speaking. Whatever your relationship to public speaking is, know that being a Speaking Fellow is about having a genuine investment in seeing peers succeed. As a Speaking Fellow, you can support your peers in areas such as classroom presentations and participation, interviews, debates, negotiation, personal narratives, advocacy and activism, and methods for active listening. 


Barnard Speaking Fellows

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.


Virtual Tips: Presentations + Interviews


In this video series Speaking Fellows will discuss how best to prepare for, participate in, and take advantage of this new virtual setting as it relates to all your speaking, presentation, and interview needs.


    Tune in for the first installment of our video series! In this video, Speaking Fellows discuss how to navigate the realm of virtual presentations with comfort.


    Speaking Fellows discuss how to be an active presenter, interviewee, and general participant in virtual settings.


    In the last video of the series, Speaking Fellows discuss various challenges that can occur during virtual presentations and interviews. From technical challenges to environmental difficulties and beyond, Fellows chat about how to troubleshoot and keep your cool.

    Chipotle fundraiser, Sunday, April 3

    Join us at our Chipotle fundraiser this Sunday, April 3! Stop by any time between 5-9pm, and 33% of the sales from your order will go to Barnard’s Writing and Speaking Programs. You can also order online for pickup, using code F9VZEGY. We hope to see you there!