Frequently Asked Questions


How do I sign up for a workshop?

If you are enrolled in a course with attached Speaking Fellows, contact your Head Speaking Fellow for sign-up information.  Her email address and phone number should be in your syllabus, but if not, contact Katy Lasell (; 212-854-8941).

For all other workshops or one-on-one sessions, sign up online.  You will need to register an account in order to view the scheduler and make appointments.

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Where is my workshop?

If your workshop is for an attached course, please contact your Speaking Fellow to confirm the location of your session.  Most sessions take place in 217 Barnard Hall.

If your workshop is not affiliated with a course, you can log-in to the online scheduler to view your workshop location.

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How do I cancel a workshop? Can I reschedule?

Cancellations are only permitted in emergency situations.  If you must cancel your workshop, please call your Speaking Fellow.  If you do not have her contact information, call Katy Lasell at 212-854-8941.  Please note that an alternate session may not be available.

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What if I can’t do any of the available days and times? 

Contact your Head Speaking Fellow.  Workshops are offered several times every week and weekends in order to accommodate a range of student schedules.  Unfortunately, we are not able to schedule special sessions.  As a last resort, you may try contacting a classmate and see if she is willing to swap her scheduled time.

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What can I expect from my Speaking Fellows workshop?

Workshops are conducted in small groups of 3-5 students, and range in skill level and subject matter.  All workshops function in a highly supportive, active environment.  You can expect to present multiple times in one session, discuss various speaking-related topics in-depth, and receive personal, one-on-one coaching from your Speaking Fellow.  She understands that everyone comes to the session with a unique level of skill, and she will work with you in the way that works best for you.  Most sessions are videotaped as well, so you can view your progress.  (Only you will view your videotape).

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Can I meet with a Speaking Fellow one-on-one?

You can request a one-on-one session to work on a specific presentation at any stage of its development.  A Speaking Fellow can work with you on everything from major structural revisions to polishing your delivery.  To reserve an appointment, sign up online.

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I’m nervous about speaking in public.  Will the session help me with that?

Yes, the session is designed to help you develop your public speaking confidence. 

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I consider myself an advanced public speaker.  How will the session benefit me?

Speaking Fellows are trained to work with students at every level of ability—including those who are already advanced.  The session will help you identify the presenting habits that contribute to your success, and the Speaking Fellow will help you expand your public speaking repertoire.

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What if English is not my native language?

The Speaking Fellows Program celebrates students who speak more than one language, and encourages international students to feel at ease in the sessions.  If you have any concerns about language issues, please let the Speaking Fellow know. 

Please note that the method taught by the Speaking Fellows is rooted in American culture, so Western-valued behaviors like eye contact and movement are emphasized.  We encourage all students to “try on” this Western style of public speaking, as it will be useful for anyone whose eventual career requires her to address Western audiences.

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How do I become a Speaking Fellow?

Speaking Fellow applications are accepted at the end of the Spring semester for the following year.  Applicants must be rising sophomores or juniors.

You will be asked to fill out a written application and secure a written faculty recommendation.  A select number of applicants are then invited to interview with the program’s directors and veteran Speaking Fellows.

Please see the Become a Speaking Fellow page to download an application.

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What is required of Speaking Fellows?

Speaking Fellows are a small, specially-selected team of students who are exceptional public speakers and who are trained to coach their peers in public speaking.  They are attached to specific courses where they lead groups of up to eight students, and so must have strong teaching and leadership abilities. 

Being a Speaking Fellow means being part of a tightly-knit team.  While each Speaking Fellow leads training sessions on her own, the Speaking Fellows work together as a group to develop new programs and support each other’s development.

In terms of time commitment, Speaking Fellows:

  • Dedicate a minimum of 70 hours per semester to the program.  (Once training is completed successfully, a stipend of $1050 is offered per semester).
  • Are required to take a training course, “Rhetorical Choices: The Theory and Practice of Public Speaking.”
  • Commit to working for at least three semesters, one of those being the semester immediately following the training course. 

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