The Ferguson Center
for Public Speaking
Claire E. Deal
Associate Professor of Rhetoric
Morton Hall, 114
Services in the Speaking Center
The Ferguson Center exists to help Hampden-Sydney students improve their oral presentation skills. It is open to all students in all courses at all levels at the college.
Services are many and making an appointment is easy. Come see us. We're here to help.
Services include assistance in the following areas:
- Coping with speaking anxiety
- Choosing and narrowing your presentation topic
- Creating an outline for your presentationCreating engaging speech introductions and powerful conclusions
- Improving delivery skills in both verbal and nonverbal communication
- Integrating audiovisual aids in your presentation
- Organizing group presentations
- Preparing presentations for professional meetings and conferences
What happens in a Ferguson Center session?
One-to-one assistance is given in both the preparation and practice of speech making. The preparation step involves working with a consultant, if necessary, to prepare a well-organized outline for your presentation. The practice step begins with videotaping your speech. You then have the option of watching the videotape on your own, or, preferably, with the speech consultant. Discussion of your presentation will focus on the strong points of your presentation as well as areas that may need improvement.
What items should I bring to the session?
Please provide a copy of the assignment, information about how the presentation will be evaluated, and your research and notes for the presentation. If you have an outline, bring that as well.
What other resources are available at the Center?
- Instructional videotapes, articles, cd roms, and books
- Videotapes of sample student speeches
- Handouts about speech preparation
What about the Honor Code?
It is not a violation of the Honor Code to receive assistance in the Ferguson Center. Remember, consultants in the Center will not do your research or write your speech for you; they are happy to assist you after you have done your preliminary research and work.
How do I make an appointment?
There are three ways to make an appointment: Stop by the Ferguson Center located in the Bortz Library, call Professor Claire Deal at extension 6988, or simply drop by the Center when it is open. The first available consultant will be happy to assist you.