Speaking Center

students working in the speaking center

Speaking Center
Hattiesburg Campus
 Speaking Center
Gulf Park Campus
 

The Speaking Center provides assistance to the Southern Miss community for the development of our students’ abilities as competent and ethical speakers.  We provide services to students and faculty. 

The Speaking Center provides to students:

  • Personalized assistance with projects at any stage of the composing process, from generating topics to delivering the presentation
  • Feedback tailored to oral communication assignments required by instructors across disciplines 
  • Help in developing strategies for revision
  • Support in helping to manage speech anxiety (communication apprehension)
  • Assistance in effective delivery including body language, expression, eye contact, gestures, notes, and visual aids

The Speaking Center provides to faculty:

  • Help designing speaking assignments to foster course objectives.
  • Classroom support for the preparation of students for speaking assignments

The Speaking Center will not:

  • Compose, write, or edit speeches for students
  • Guarantee a perfectly composed and/or delivered presentation
  • Guess (or second guess) grades, comments, or intentions
  • Prepare visual aids

Following the National Communication Association’s Credo for Ethical Communication, the Speaking Center will:

  • Advocate truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason as essentials of integrity of communication.
  • Strive to understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding to their messages.
  • Promote communication climates of caring and mutual understanding and respect the unique needs and characteristics of individual communicators.
  • Condemn communication that degrades individuals and humanity through distortion, intimidation, coercion, violence, and through the expression of intolerance and hatred.
  • Respect privacy and confidentiality.

The Southern Miss Speaking Center opened in the spring of 2006 as part of the University Quality Enhancement Plan, “Finding a Voice:  Improving Oral and Written Competencies.”  The plan emphasizes the importance of writing and speaking competencies in Southern Miss students.  In addition to curricular changes and faculty development, the university committed to funding a Speaking Center and to supporting the already established Writing Center.  For more information about the history of this initiative see the Quality Enhancement Plan website: http://www.usm.edu/qep/

Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre (601.266.4370) directs the Speaking Center in Hattiesburg and Dr. Casey Maugh (228.214.3309) directs the Gulf Park Speaking Center.  Graduate student coordinators help oversee operations in Hattiesburg.  Both centers are staffed by peer consultants (trained undergraduates and graduates).