The Mic helps students with public speaking

Tracey Sturgal is the faculty director of The Mic.

Tracey Sturgal is the faculty director of The Mic.

Marquette University’s writing center offers students valuable help with their essays and papers for class, according to its website. But for students struggling with public speaking projects, the university has a resource for them, too.

The MIC, which came to campus last year, is a public speaking help center for students. 

Located on the fifth floor of Johnston Hall, the center is available to all Marquette students by appointment, and is open Monday through Friday. 

At the MIC, students can practice every step of public speaking, from outlining to speaking strategies, Audrey Meyersiek, a senior in the College of Communication and instructor at the MIC, said.

“It really helps students grow in their skills and become more confident,” Meyersiek said. “It’s very rewarding to see students progress so much in their abilities and confidence.”

The MIC opened last spring, and it currently employs six student instructors and is looking to hire more.

Tracey Sturgal, the faculty director, helped many of the students get the organization started.

Olivia Huening, a junior in the College of Communication, said Sturgal helped her get involved as a student instructor.

Huening said she and other student instructors help students develop ideas for their speeches. 

“When we write an outline for a speech, I usually tell them to write about things they know,” Huening said. “And we’ll start broad, with a topic like Chicago for example. Then we’ll make categories within that, like food or activities to help them organize their thoughts.”

Huening said in addition to content, a big part of what she does is help students with their actual speaking skills. 

“Some students have a tendency to move around a lot or get nervous, so we remind them of ways to stay confident and still when they speak,” Huening said. 

Jason Hanselman, a senior in the College of Communication, said he also specializes in helping students with their delivery while speaking. 

“You want to make sure that it’s fluent and that you’re not using note cards to an inordinate degree,” Hanselman said. 

Hanselman said he finds many students need to adjust to writing a speech instead of a paper, and the MIC can help students transition to speech writing.

Hanselman said writing a speech and writing a paper have substantive differences. During a speech, there is a larger degree of repetition, but that is less appropriate for an essay. He said that is why the MIC is important to have on campus.

But the students at the MIC aren’t just helping other students with their speaking. They themselves also benefit from this resource, Meyersiek said. 

“I feel like even my own confidence in public speaking has improved since working at the MIC,” Meyersiek said. “It’s helpful in a lot of ways.”