Communicating at Work

Hope’s Communication Majors excel at public speaking in the workplace–and twenty-first century jobs regularly involve public speaking. Hear from two of our recent graduates as they reflect on their learning from Comm 140 Public Presentations:

Jeff Serini (2011) is opening a new company, Paragon Fitness. He credits his Hope College education in public speaking  with guiding him through his pitches as he explained his company’s influence marketing strategies to a group of entrepreneurs in downtown Grand Rapids. He reminds speakers to smile, look people in the eye to build trust, and be comfortable with pauses instead of filling the silence with “umms” and other vocal fillers.

Anysie Ishimwe (2016) works in Rwanda through a Global Health Corps fellowship. Specifically, Ms. Ishimwe works at Gardens for Health International, helping health centers throughout Rwanda treat chronic malnutrition and teaching children and families to better understand nutrition. Ms. Ishimwe describes how her work requires her to make many presentations and moderate events with high ranking government officials. Recognizing the importance and everyday utility of good public speaking, Ms. Ishimwe is passing it forward and training her new colleagues in public speaking.

Ultimately, speakers need to engage their audience members with their content and delivery. Comm 140 Public Presentations teaches students how to (1) draw on strong evidence to make a persuasive argument, (2) how to organize the content so it is easy to understand, (3) how to focus on the audience so the material makes sense to them, and (4) how to stylize and deliver a speech for the most effective communication.

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