Guide to Research for Oral Presentations
Visit the Guide to Research for Oral Presentations to complete this 30-minute tutorial on finding, evaluating, and using online sources.
Effective Use of PowerPoint
Visit the Online Tutorial on the Effective Use of PowerPoint to learn about the effective design and delivery of PowerPoint slides. The tutorial features information on the 6×6 rule, the importance of focusing on visuals, pros and cons of presentation slides, and more.
Guidelines for Public Speaking
Download the Guidelines for Public Speaking (pdf), a compendium of guidelines on effective public speaking. The Guidelines contain advice for preparing and delivering presentations, information on different types of speeches, and tips for reducing communication anxiety.
Presentation Skills Tutorials
The Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC) offers tutorial assistance in Presentation Skills/COM 1010. For more information and to make an appointment, please visit the SACC website.
General Speaking and Writing Resources
Baruch Colleges offers a number of excellent and largely free programs focusing on the improvement of spoken and written communication. Most of these programs cater to both native and nonnative speakers of English, others are specifically tailored for nonnative speakers (see English as a Second Language below).
Conversation Partners Program
The Conversation Partners Program matches native and nonnative speakers of English for informal conversations. The program is designed to help nonnative students gain confidence in English and navigate local culture. At the same time, both native and nonnative speakers will expand their cultural knowledge, make friends, and build a network of professional contacts. Partners commit to meeting at least six times during the semester. For more information and the application form, go to Conversation Partners Program. You can sign up at the beginning of Fall and Spring semester.
Writing Tutorials and Classes
Baruch College offers tutorials and workshops in written communication for both native and nonnative speakers in the Writing Center and courses in composition in the Department of English and the Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions.
Starr Career Development Center
The Starr Career Development Center offers workshops, tutorials, and one-on-one sessions on interviewing, resumé writing, cover-letter writing, LinkedIn profile preparation, and more. For more information, please visit the Starr Career Development Center website.
English As a Second Language (ESL)
Tools for Clear Speech
If you are a nonnative English speaker and would like to improve your pronunciation and intelligibility, please take advantage of the extensive professional resources in the college’s Tools for Clear Speech (TfCS) program. TfCS offers one-to-one tutorials with professional speech consultants, workshops on different topics related to oral communication, weekly group Conversation Hour, and an Oral Communication Video Assessment to help track your progress while at the college.
Please visit Tools for Clear Speech for more information. All Tools for Clear Speech services are free to students.
Accent Reduction/Intelligibility FAQs
What follows are some frequently asked questions regarding accent reduction and the improvement of pronunciation and intelligibility in a foreign or second language.
What is muscle memory?
Your tongue and lips know from years of practice how to produce your native language sounds. To pronounce the sounds of English correctly, you need to train these muscles to move differently. When you don’t have to think consciously about the new sounds and your mouth muscles produce the correct English sounds automatically, you have achieved “muscle memory.”
How long will it take to improve my pronunciation?
Athletic trainers say that it take 1,000 repetitions to commit a sports move (e.g., in skiing or gymnastics) to muscle memory. It’s similar with our speech organs. Each person will experience a period of being able to reduce his or her accent when consciously thinking about it. However, to get the changes into the subconscious mind may take six months to a year. Like playing golf, tennis, or a musical instrument, accent training requires practice, practice, practice.
Why should I improve my pronunciation?
Employers commonly rank spoken communication skills highest among the skills desired in college graduates. While you don’t have to eradicate your accent completely (a little bit of an accent can be quite charming), you should strive to be comprehensible enough for listeners to understand you without strain.
Where should I start?
You should start by making an appointment with a speech tutor at TfCS (select “one-to-one speech tutorials”). The tutor can diagnose your speech, including “hidden” speech problems that you may not know and that may be even more important than specific sounds (e.g., stress, rhythm, and intonation). The tutor may meet with you regularly, check your progress, and give you practice assignments.
How often should I practice?
You should practice as often as possible, but at least once a week for an hour. The best way to practice is in a language lab or with language-lab software. Please ask your TfCS tutor for advice.
What results can I expect?
You can expect clearer speech and greater intelligibility. Your improved pronunciation will help you perform better in school, during job interviews, and at work.
Baruch College offers tutorials and workshops in written English in the Writing Center and courses in English composition in the Department of English.
CAPS Academic Intensive English Program
In addition, English language learners preparing for college can take courses in the Academic Intensive English Program in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.