When considering the objective of Oral Communication Proficiency, I reflect on one of my favorite Knight School courses, COM 200: Public Speaking. There is a whole story as to how I ended up in this class in the first place. I am a Journalism and Digital Media major, and COM 200 is a required class for the regular Communication major, not actually for my major! However, during my first semester at Queens, I had some bad advising before I was placed with my permanent advisor within my major. My first advisor mistakenly placed me in all regular Communication major classes. While these courses didn’t end up counting towards my degree requirements (and almost made me have to take an extra semester to graduate!), everything ended up working out in the end, and one pro to my first semester at Queens was that I ended up loving my COM 200 class. I did have a feeling ahead of time that I would enjoy the class, as public speaking has always been a love of mine. A fun fact: for my high school graduation party in 2012, I wrote and delivered a 12-page speech to address all 80+ of my friends and family members who attended my graduation party.
My professor, Mr. Shoff, made everyone in the class feel comfortable, and his teaching style was warm and inviting. Throughout the semester we explored different types of speeches: persuasive speeches and informational speeches, and we also spent time analyzing what makes a speaker or speech great. One of the things that I enjoyed about this course was that we were allowed to write our speeches on any topics of our choosing, as long as the topic could fit with the assignment guidelines. Being able to write speeches about topics like sorority recruitment or tourism in Las Vegas, topics that interested me, made me passionate about the research (and verbal practicing!) that I needed to do for the course.
I already enjoyed public speaking before taking this class, but I realized after taking this course that I enjoyed it in an academic setting as well. It was really interesting to watch the oral communication proficiency of my classmates improve throughout the semester, and to see everyone’s enthusiasm for their speeches to increase with each assignment.