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The Forum

What is The Forum?

The Forum is a program that is designed to enhance the speaking skills of first year students. The Forum is anchored by an actual event that will occur every month and will be an opportunity for Barnard students to speak publicly about a chosen set of topics. During the weeks leading up to the actual Forum, participants will work on their skills with the Speaking Fellows with a focus on extemporaneous speech. Interested new students should be prepared to dedicate 2 hours a week to the program.

Who are the Speaking Fellows?

The Speaking Fellows are specially trained Barnard students who work with students in speaking-intensive courses and other academically-centered programs, like The Forum.  Workshops are conducted in small groups of 3-5 students, and range in skill level and subject matter.  All workshops function in a highly supportive, active environment -- students can expect to present multiple times in one session, discuss various speaking-related topics in-depth, and receive personal, one-on-one coaching.  Participants come to understand speaking as an integral part of self-expression, leadership, and intellectual creativity.

Who should apply?

Have you always wanted to become a better public speaker? Are you a great orator already and want to display your talents? Do you want to get involved with the planning of events on campus? If you answered yes to any of these questions, The Forum is perfect for you! We welcome all students who are interested in enhancing their presentation/public speaking skills or just want to practice being more comfortable in front of an audience. Because The Forum is completely student run, there are opportunities for event planning as well.

Program Components

1. Attend a weekly 2-hour session. The sessions will be coordinated by a staff member of Leadership Development and/or a Speaking Fellow.

2. Attendance of the actual Forum event on the 4th Wednesday of the month (5 in total: Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar, and Apr.) 

3. Meet and have discussions with experienced speakers such as student leaders, alumnae, and administrators. 

4. Participate in leadership workshops facilitated by Leadership Development.

5. Participants should expect to commit 2-3 hours a week to the program.