Welcome to CCIM Class Spotlight, a content series designed to explore the variety of classes offered across our college — from our signature courses to our newest class offering. In this blog, we explore Comm 210, a class that every Ball State student takes as part of their general studies. This year, an innovative approach was taken turning class presentations into a recruitment fair. 

Why is public speaking important?

Public speaking helps us connect with others and builds up our confidence. Students in Comm 210 gain confidence in informative, persuasive, and entertaining speaking. Regardless of your chosen profession, public speaking is important in a variety of ways. It is beneficial to career advancement and the development of leadership skills. It’s only fitting that this is a course that every student takes during their undergraduate career. It brought together elements of critical thinking, improved communication skills, and confidence to new students. 

At Ball State, Comm 210 is a core curriculum that focuses on helping you improve your communication skills, understand the basic communication principles, and enhance your awareness of the role of communication in culture. Many of the activities in the course are collaborative. This nature allows you to work with others to enhance your communication skills. “If you asked me four years ago if I was good at public speaking, I would say I am not the greatest at it. But during high school, I got involved with our newscast. Being a part of this started the foundation of my public speaking skills. Not only did COMM 210 teach me new ways to better my public speaking, but it gave me the confidence I needed to push myself to become a better public speaker,” says second-year student Izek Hernandez ’25.

Austen Lowder ’24 and his booth about a fitness app called “Get Phit”.

Take a look inside the COMM 210 Recruitment Fair

Izek Hernandez ’25 and his booth about Sigma Nu.

The assignment is divided into two parts. The first part is writing a pitch to recruit and promote in mind and then presenting the pitch in a “fair-like” setting in front of their classmates and other students from other sections. For Izek, the low-key setting is what made the experience so beneficial. “As an introvert, speaking in front of people always made me nervous. But the fair-like setting reassured me that there was no need to be. I felt confident in myself. Writing my pitch about my fraternity, Sigma Nu, gave me a chance to have a practice run for the real thing. It helped me get an idea of how to be engaging with my audience.”

During the recruitment fair, students walked freely to listen to a variety of pitches.

For the second part, students would walk around the Letterman lobby and listen to other students’ pitches. They were provided with sheets of paper to rate the speech. These sheets allowed the audience to give feedback to the speaker on where they could improve. “When it was my turn to be the person walking around, I enjoyed it.” Izek continued, “I found it fun listening to other people’s pitches. The pitches ranged from persuading me to join a fraternity to trying to get me to be an actor for an analog horror-themed newscast. Receiving feedback from my pitch gave me the time to think about what to improve and how I can better myself as a public speaker.”

Not only did the COMM 210 Recruitment Fair have a significant impact on the students, but the staff as well. Graduate Assitant Edward Blibo had this to say about the fair, “The ability to share what you are passionate about and the courage to invite others to join you come with a ton of confidence. Having my students develop or improve these skill sets makes them better public speakers than they were.”

Interested in COMM 210? Check out the Department of Communication Studies.

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