The experience to speak in front of large groups should always be provided to students in higher education. Providing the opportunity to practice skills that will be needed in business, corporate environments, educational settings, the medical profession and even in military experiences and service. The skill of speaking is very important to success in any career field.
Public speaking, corporate presentations, business collaborations and even scientific conferences and discussions rely on a certain level of intellectual thought and engagement. Higher education students, especially those attending HBCUs need to have the exposure of sharing their knowledge and experiences to others. There needs to be a platform that they can express themselves in several areas.
The first where they came from, the second where they think they are going and third their destination. Each is important because they are each learning experiences.
HBCU students need to understand that they will be judged, measured, graded, scrutinized on their professional successes and even the journey, their articulation may be based on how well they speak and carry or present themselves.
The disadvantage comes where many HBCU students from their past have not had the opportunity to be taught how to speak and share content in an environment of structure and academics. Exposure to educational, social and networking opportunities may have been limited or not available.
HBCUs should have platforms of learning that engages students in their skills of public speaking. TEDX, TEDTalks, and HBCUs like Edward Waters College “TIGERTALKS” Experiences where students are provided opportunities to speak and share content. Students at the time may not appreciate or understand the importance of these events, but they need to be prepared and ready for the engagement.
To date, several semesters of students have participated and students have shared their hopes, dreams, aspirations and plans for the present and the future. Because of these experiences now those that continue will be prepared to provide professional presentations at diverse venues.
Professor William Jackson and research specialist Emma Kent of the Library Services Department of EWC strives to create in each student a well-balanced and practiced student with diverse skills they will use in the real world of employment. The need for articulation, timing, passion, confidence and even research skills are vital to building in students a foundation that will build future success and achievement.
HBCUs will continue to face challenges no matter what administration is in office, that is a fact, so the best way to face any challenge is head-on and with a plan that hard work, collaboration, teamwork, faith, dedication, and prayer will help continue to build a legacy of success.
Looking at the recent Roland Martin discussion on HBCUs and their proposed help from the new administration it is seen that the last administration did not equally create a financial cushion of support and acceptance. HBCUs must continue to do more with less and build the leaders this nation needs for the future to be competitive and globally relevant.