Learning a vital life skill: Public Speaking

Study after study has shown that “glossophobia” (fear of public speaking) is the number one fear among most people. Some estimates suggest up to 95% of the population fears speaking in public.

But when you stop and think about it, we speak in public all the time!  As Brandeis Lecturer Jennifer Cleary points out, “Public speaking isn’t only about presenting a speech from behind a podium… it is just a small part of what speaking in public is all about. We always have an audience, whether it is an audience of one or one-hundred. To become a strong speaker, you must begin at the foundation of where speaking lives in our daily lives: with our families, friends, classmates, colleagues, and in our professions. Naturally, we choose different communicative skills depending on our environment and audience.”

Throughout THA 15b Public Speaking: The Art of Oral Communication, students will gain the skills necessary to be comfortable, confident, and prepared to succeed in a variety of speaking engagements, and to overcome any fears of public speaking through practice, discussion, and collegial support/feedback.

The course is appropriate for a variety of skill levels, from the novice and more fearful speaker, to a more comfortable speaker looking for a place to focus and develop stronger skills.

This evening class is open to all students, regardless of background and is being offered by Jennifer Cleary.  The course meets in the Extended Summer Session (May 31-August 5, 2011) on Monday evenings from 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM.  During the weeks with Monday holidays (Memorial Day and July 4th) the class will meet on Wed. night.

Students can review a course syllabus for THA 15b Public Speaking: The Art of Oral Communication.  To find out more about this course, and other Brandeis Summer School courses, visit the Summer School website.

About the Instructor: Ms. Cleary has stage-managed professionally with the New Repertory Theatre, Worcester Foothills Theatre, Fredericksburg Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Encompass New Opera Theatre, and Gloucester Stage. She received her Ed.M. in Arts-in-Education from Harvard University and works with theatre student teachers in the Brandeis Education Program.  Also, she previously worked as the Artistic Liaison for Opera Boston, serving as their Chorus Manager. She is in her 11th year of teaching at Brandeis.  Pictured is the “un-official class mascot”, Ms. Cleary’s dog Zooey.

Ms. Cleary's dog Zooey