Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology

March 25, 2011 09:00 ET

Seneca Students to Make Soundwaves Delivering Passionate Speeches About Issues That Matter

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2011) - Students from Seneca College's graduate program in corporate communications will deliver a series of live speeches about the issues affecting them most. This event will take place on Wednesday, March 30 and Wednesday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at several locations across downtown Toronto. The event is a final assignment for their Advanced Public Speaking class.

"We're going to be talking about the issues that matter most to members of our graduating class," says Erica Fox, a Seneca graduate student and one of the event coordinators. "For the past three months we've learned how to effectively inform and persuade when speaking in public. Today is the pinnacle of that training, the chance we get to make Toronto laugh, cry and hopefully learn something new." 

Topics will cover a variety of issues ranging from modern day racism and blood chocolate, to living with ALS, Labiaplasties and a world without oil. These topics represent the diversity of interests, experiences and opinions among the students, whose previous assignments involved giving speeches on topics unfamiliar to them, in public places across Toronto like St. Lawrence Market and Allan Gardens. It is all part of the course's approach to learning by doing.

"Being a professional communicator means knowing how to address a variety of publics on a variety of issues in a variety of environments confidently," says Kate Snack, another Seneca graduate student who is coordinating the event. "And that's what we do in the class. My peers and I have to speak in locations we find uncomfortable, on issues we know little about. We have to learn how to manage the anxiety that comes with that."

Part of that anxiety is delivered in the "curve balls" the course instructor will commonly throw at his students to test their preparedness and focus when speaking. Past scenarios have included paying strangers to heckle, reducing the allotted speaking time and taking pictures with a large, intrusive camera at close range. These experiences apply a core lesson the instructor believes will best prepare students for their future careers.

It's a lesson Erica Fox says has prepared her peers to deliver what should be the most memorable speeches of the semester to all who stop and listen.

"We've had all this training, and now we're ready for the Big One," she says, referring to the title of the assignment. "Look out Toronto, because a talented group of young, soon-to-be graduates is about to make waves in public speaking." 

About Seneca College

Seneca College's Corporate Communications graduate program prepares students to be flexible communications practitioners. The public speaking course challenges students to push the boundaries of conventional learning by taking them out of the classroom and simulating real world experiences. 

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