Peer mentors prepare to end poor public speaking

CALL peer mentors from the communication lab have been busy preparing for another semester dedicated to helping students become more effective public speakers.

Recently, CALL became one of only eight communication labs to be a nationally certified mentoring program as identified by the National Association of Communication Centers.   This means that students who visit the lab can be confident that mentors are well versed in both public speaking and ethical peer mentoring practices.  For our mentors, this certification provides a credential that may enhance job or graduate school opportunities. New College’s CALL (Communication Assessment Learning Lab) is unique to the ASU community and is one of the largest west of the Mississippi River.

Students enrolled in designated communication courses may use the lab to prepare, deliver, and evaluate individual and group oral presentations.  The recently expanded lab, which now includes a brainstorming room, a group presentation/conference room, and three recording rooms, is located on the third floor of Sands.

A number of academic programs, including life sciences, education, business, and communication studies, require students to complete a public speaking course.  CALL mentors reflect this wide range of disciplines which helps students understand how basic public speaking concepts apply to a number of topics.  This spring, ten new students, from diverse majors, join seven returning lab mentors. Because peer mentors have already completed a public speaking class, they understand some of the challenges new students face – primarily overcoming the fear of speaking in public.

CALL peer mentors reinforce classroom instruction by providing feedback to each student by helping them to improve speech organization,   strengthen verbal and non-verbal delivery, manage presentational aides, and employ successful persuasive strategies.  Typically, students come into the lab and present their speech while a mentor records and times their presentation.  Then, the mentor and student watch the speech together and look for areas of strengths and opportunities to improve.  For the professional communication class, students are filmed participating in a mock interview.  By watching themselves on film, students can isolate those tendencies which either enhance or detract from their message.

For more information about CALL visit http://newcollege.asu.edu/call .

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