Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer Night Class

Public speaking is the class -- one of the core courses required at Coker. It is a course that I really enjoy leading. Last night we were talking about persuasive speaking and one of the examples I used was to question how those in the class might encourage (persuade) someone to become a member of the Coker College Evening Program (www.coker.edu).

If you don't have a degree and find that you are being stymied in progress at your job, you immediately have one of the reasons they might have noted. If you enjoy a challenge and you like the feeling of accomplishment of meeting a challenge, you get that feeling every eight weeks as one term of two classes ends and another begins. That was another reason.

One thing that is often noted when you are trying to persuade people that a change is needed is that first, you have to persuade them of the NEED. We talked last night about Jeannie Robertson's observation (she is a professional public speaker) that "Change does not happen until the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same." So, first you establish the need.
When it comes to a college degree that need is often driven from within (as it turns out most persuasion comes from within, a speaker only provides the thought triggers).

After you establish the need, you have to have a workable PLAN. The Coker College Evening program has a plan that if you attend each eight-week session you will generally be able to get your degree in four years. There are not many programs with that kind of accelerated time frame. While no credit is given for life experience, it is common for past college courses to transfer in to Coker.

And, finally, when you have established the need and developed the plan, you have to show the plan is PRACTICAL. Many people wanting a degree find when thinking about a degree is that it is tough to find the time required when you have this other life you are living. Coker night students understand. Most of them have one or two full-time jobs and many of them have families. The college has set up a schedule for the Hartsville campus of Monday and Thursday evenings with classes of two and a half hours each. The first class begins at 5:30 and is over about 7:50 and the second begins at 8:05 and ends about 10:30. Coker also has evening campuses at Lake City, South Carolina, Mullins, South Carolina and Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

But, if you are doing a persuasive speech you would use some personalization and discuss some personal stories of students who work, who have families and who are succeeding at Coker. This makes the need, plan and practicality real to the audience.

We try to use real-world situations as we discuss certain academic courses. Public speaking is a very real world skill and it is fun when people develop a higher degree of comfort during the eight week class.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.jeannerobertson.com/

    I mentioned Jeanne Robertson in the post and wanted to give you the url to her web site.