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More information about Speak with Style

What is Speak with Style?

Do you want to become a better speaker? Speak with Style (SwS) is a group dedicated to exploring the art and science of effective communication. SwS aims to provide a medium for people to share their strategies in speaking with more confidence, and avails itself as a resource and platform for students to polish and perfect their presentation, pitching, and social communication skills. By drawing the expertise of faculty members from diverse academic departments and experienced professionals, SwS hopes to prepare students to deliver their ideas in an effective way. We believe that effective communication is an essential skill for all.

The practical details

We meet every Thursday at 4:30pm. Our workshops are open to all. Subscribe to our mailing list (link above) in order to find out more about our weekly events. You can also find us on facebook.

Welcome Letter to new members

Congratulations on your decision to join Speak with Style. By becoming a member of Speak with Style, you have demonstrated your commitment to becoming a better speaker. We are here to help you succeed. Moreover, we are here to make it fun.

Why is speaking well so important?

In the 1990s, Dr. Thomas Harrell, a professor of business at Stanford University, conducted a famous study to determine what traits determine a graduate’s success. GPA, amazingly, was not the trait that correlated most strongly with post-graduation success. There was one trait that correlated even more strongly with success -- a factor Dr. Harrell termed “verbal fluency”.

Verbal Fluency is an individual’s ability to communicate effectively in a wide range of scenarios, whether it may be public speaking, interviewing, or social gatherings. Verbal Fluency is intimately related to everyday interaction and conversation.

We spend countless hours studying to get a job or to get ahead. But as this study suggests, there is another trait that is just as important, if not more important. Speak with Style is dedicated to improving this trait, verbal fluency, in all its nuances, in all of its members.

What will I get out of Speak with Style?

You will get as much as you put into it. No prior experience is necessary. It is our hope that, with our support, you will be able to speak more effectively, coherently, and persuasively. You will be able to convey your ideas exactly as they are formulated in your mind, because delivery should only enhance, not compromise, the content of your thoughts. You will not only become a better public speaker and interviewer, but also interact better in almost any social situation.

How will this happen?

Working closely with the residential colleges, faculty, and academic services at Princeton, we will organize interleaving sessions of focus workshops and speaking practicums in order to integrate skill acquisition with problem-based learning. Focus workshops are interactive sessions run by faculty, graduate students, or experienced undergraduates on exploring a specific aspect of speaking. Speaking practicums are hands-on opportunities for members to practice a specific speaking task they may have -- elevator pitches, class presentations, thesis defenses, public speeches, you name it -- and receive constructive feedback from peers and faculty.

We create a warm and welcoming environment for you to work on what you want to work on. You will do it with experts, with friends, and with many smiles. Please join us every Saturday at 4:30PM. We wish you all the best in your journey.

Welcome aboard!

The SwS Team
Authored by Justin Ziegler, Mengyi Xu, and Jiun-Ruey Hu