ERIC Number: ED251865
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-13
Reference Count: 0
Getting Our Act Together: A Justification for a Speaking Lab.
Research indicates that about 40% of the population fear public speaking. There is a wide variety of possible causes for this unwillingness to communicate: a lack of skills, social introversion, alienation, lack of fluency in English, and communication apprehension. Despite the fact that evidence indicates everyone may have some difficulty with communication in some circumstances, few colleges and universities appear to be doing much to help alleviate the problem. A lack of awareness of a need, a lack of staff time, and a shortage of funds have all been cited as reasons for inaction. At the University of Iowa, several graduate students have persuaded the rhetoric program to re-establish a speaking laboratory that parallels existing reading and writing labs and that is based on three approaches to the fear of communication: systematic desensitization, cognitive modification, and skills training. These methods can be used independently or in combinations. The laboratory's efforts have centered on trying to help students more accurately define their speaking situation, set goals, find methods that will allow them to reach their goals, and rehearse in order to be able to perform. The program has been successful at least in part because students are free to decide whether to seek help. Active ties with other student programs on campus have brought referrals of students who seek more difficult speaking experiences in connection with public speaking courses or extra curriculuar forensics programs. This has prevented the program from being seen solely as remedial by potential users. (RBW)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speaking Centers; University of Iowa
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).