Public speaking can be one of the most nerve-wracking things for some people. If you struggle with speaking or presenting (or even if you don’t) in front of groups of people, Communications 101 is the class for you! It is one of the most helpful classes you will take. Here are 6 reasons why you should consider taking CMN 101!

1. You get better at public speaking.

One of the very first lessons is extemporaneous speaking, which is speaking without preparation. Now this doesn’t mean you have to get up in front of your class and start speaking without knowing what you’re going to talk about, but instead you actually get a lot of time to prepare. The extemporaneous speaking applies to your actual speech. If you have a habit of memorizing speeches word for word, you’ll learn new techniques to prepare you for different situations and audiences that you might not have prepared for. Needless to say, you get A LOT of practice with public speaking in just one semester.

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2. The classes are smaller.

Having a smaller class of about 20 for Communications 101 is definitely helpful and relieving when you have to speak in front of your classmates. Everyone is in the same boat and everyone feels anxious when it’s their turn to present their speech, which usually means your peers will be supportive and understanding if you stumble a little (or even a lot). You grow a kind of bond with each other through a mutual understanding that public speaking can stir up some nerves.

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3. Vocal fillers be gone!

It’s like totally like okay to you know be nervous you know about like your speeches…but with Communications 101 you will not only be given tools to overcome this nervousness but also get rid of vocal fillers, such as “like” and “you know.” One helpful tip Professor Roman tells her students is to say “watermelon” every time you catch yourself saying a vocal filler. As awkward and weird as it might sound to you and the people around you, you will be cured of your vocal fillers.

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4. Interview practice

A lot of the activities the class does involves quick, impromptu speaking exercises, just like in interviews. One speech even involves a little question & answer section after you’ve presented, which almost simulates an interview in itself. Additionally, the persuasive speech gives you a chance to practice influencing the people you’re talking to. In the same manner, you’ll have to do the same in interviews and convince the employer that you are a good hire.

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5. No exams!

All the “exams” are speeches. You’ll never really need a scantron in this class.

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6. You learn how to write good outlines.

Whether it’s keyword outlines, full sentence outlines, or skeleton outlines, you’ll learn how to properly format good outlines that will most definitely prepare you for your speeches. The time you take to prepare these outlines will reflect in your speech and set the tone for how you present your topic. Communications 101 does a great job of highlighting what a helpful outline looks like and how it is used.

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You can’t go wrong by taking CMN 101. If the thought of public speaking makes you anxious, it’s probably a sign that you could learn a lot from this great class!

Sarah Chang

"Here's to the crazy ones...because those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

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