The Speaking Center provides to students: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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Dr. Laura Stengrim (601.266.4271) directs the Speaking Center alongside graduate student coordinators
who help oversee operations and peer consultants (trained undergraduates and graduates).
Visit the Speaking Center web site here.