Academic Speaking Support – Resources for Faculty

We’re here to help

Please encourage your students to visit the Speaking Space. Speaking Tutors help students prepare and deliver presentations, participate in or lead class discussions, and manage speaking anxiety.


We invite you to include the following message in your syllabi (feel free to either cut/paste or revise it as you see fit):

Speaking Tutors help students effectively speak and listen within academic conversations, from participating in or leading class discussions to preparing and rehearsing formal presentations. You can sign up for an appointment online or drop in Sundays-Thursdays 7-10pm in RML 355. Learn more at

Class Visits

Speaking Tutors are available to visit the first or last five minutes of your class to introduce themselves, explain what we do, and give students bookmarks. While these class visits are scheduled for all ORC courses, any instructor is welcome to schedule a class visit by emailing Bridget (

Information on ORC at St. Olaf:

St. Olaf ORC Requirements 

ORC GE Proposal Submission Forms (appropriate form choice depends on whether you wish to propose a new course with an ORC GE attribute or add the attribute to an existing course)

ORC and the Speaking Space

General Oral Communication Assessment Tools:

Oral presentation evaluation form (easy to adapt by adding or eliminating rows on the form)

National Communication Association Competent Speaker Speech Evaluation Form

National Communication Association Competent Speaker Holistic Speech Evaluation Form

Simplified AAC&U Evaluation Form (developed by Jo Beld)

Group Presentation Rubric

Discussion Resources:

Graff and Birkenstein “Entering Class Discussions” (helpful phrases for students to use in entering discussions)

Hamline University – Help on Discussions for Students and Faculty

Student Handouts for “Contributing Effectively to Group Discussion” and “Being an Effective Discussant” (with permission to copy/distribute from Jo Beld)

Ed Langerak’s “Conversation on Conversation,” an essay on conversation.

From Stephen Brookfield, author of Discussion as a Way of Teaching – a PowerPoint on discussion strategies for instructors

From the Penn State Schreyer Institute – Resources for Using Discussion in the classroom

Small Group Discussion Evaluation Form

Student Discussion Evaluation and Reflection Form (with permission to copy/distribute from Adrienne Christiansen)

Classroom Discussion Rubric

Conversational Skills Rating Scale Rubric from The National Communication Association Diagnostic Series

Oral Presentation Resources:

“The Speaking Space Checklist” and Tip Sheet for Oral Presentations

Hamline University Resources for Students and Faculty on Presentations

State Your Case! “Speaking Effectively” Resources

UNC – Writing Center: “Writing a Speech”

“Key Concepts in Preparing Effective Oral Presentations” (with permission to copy/distribute from Jo Beld)

Sample speech assignment “The Hyde Park Heckle Speech” (with permission to copy/distribute from Adrienne Christiansen)

“Making Your Presentation Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath

Toastmasters International “Your Speaking Voice

Teaching Presentations in Math

PowerPoint and Multimedia Information:

Information on Presentation Design – Ben Gottfried, St. Olaf Multimedia Instructional Technologist

“Evaluating Multimedia Presentations”

State Your Case! “Presenting Slides or Posters”

Pecha Kucha (20 slides x 20 seconds each)

More Pecha Kucha from Prof. Edmund Lingan

Group Presentations and Debate Resources:

“Preparing a Group Presentation” Handout (with permission to copy/distribute from Jo Beld)

State Your Case! “Learning about Arguments by Making Arguments” (sample debate activity)

General Resources:

Speech Anxiety

For additional resources or information on oral communication, please contact Bill Sonnega, Director of Oral Communications (ORC) at or Bridget Draxler, Writing and Speaking Specialist and supervisor of the Speaking Tutors,