“WHAT CLASSES SHOULD I TAKE?!” has to be the most asked question between friends during each semester’s registration period. Every time I am asked I give the same answer without fail. Every single Hawk on Saint Joseph’s campus should register for Professor Flocco’s Public Speaking and Presentation class at some point in their academic career; if it was allowed, I’d take it again for fun! This class teaches students a valuable skill that can be used in any future career, as well as provides students with a unique classroom experience that they are sure to never forget.
As you may have imagined, the structure of this class revolves around five speeches that each student gives to the class throughout the semester. The speeches range in nature, going from descriptive speeches to speeches where the goal is to persuade the audience to take action, and culminates with a “special” speech. When I gave my first speech, a descriptive speech on Harry Potter (what? I’m a huge fan!), my hands were shaking so badly that I couldn’t read my note cards and I was in serious danger of crying. I would say being terrified of public speaking is a major understatement. Progressively throughout the semester, with the advice from Professor Flocco and practice, the delivery of my speeches drastically improved. Although I still get butterflies in my stomach before speaking in front crowds, my crippling fear is gone and I am able to now speak with confidence. This has been a crucial skill development for class presentations, interviews and for my role as a Saint Joseph’s University Hawk Host!
While I am grateful that I learned how to effectively speak in public settings, what really makes this class special is the overall classroom experience. Each class is different and unlike one that you’ve ever been in before because students are presenting completely new speeches each time. I compare this experience to an hour and fifteen minutes of listening to new stories. Sounds fun, right? While listening to your peers speeches, you get to learn about their backgrounds, their interests and their passions. I was amazed at how open my classmates were to share their stories with us, which could be very personal at times, and enlighten us on things that they really cared about. It is hard to articulate just how much respect I had for each of my classmates by the end of the semester.
Professor Flocco is a fantastic teacher who cares about the development of her students’ skills. If I had never registered for this class I might have never had the opportunity to represent SJU to prospective Hawks, to present at Orientation to incoming parents or been able to ace my internship interview. Thank you Professor Flocco, for giving me a voice!
Chelsea Letts is a senior, Criminal Justice major and Communications minor from Harleysville, PA. She is the Secretary and Treasurer of SJU’s Student Union Board and the co-chair for the Spring Concert. Chelsea is currently an intern with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and hopes to find herself working in federal law enforcement after graduation.