At the ECC, students shape their lives, professions, and society by developing their ability to express themselves clearly, confidently, and eloquently through public presentations and with groups and teams.
Need help with your presentation? We can help! In-person, virtual, and small group appointments are available. The ECC is located in Wallace Library, Suite A600.
Overview & Importance
Industry workforce reports, university alumni surveys, and academic studies have long stressed the importance of strong communication abilities in order for all college graduates to excel. Research consistently shows that communication apprehension and hesitancy to communicate undermine academic and professional performance. Better communicators are better students: more articulate, more confident students have higher scores on graduate entrance exams, higher GPAs, more positive attitudes toward education, and better college retention rates.
The center uses the consulting-training model combining: 1) communication faculty and trained tutors who help students prepare and rehearse for oral communication activities with, 2) expert communication faculty who work one-on-one with course instructors from all disciplines. These activities provide real and lasting benefits to students in oral, interpersonal, group, and visual communication competency improvement.
In sum, the ECC offers an engaged active learning environment where students receive training and have opportunities for feedback-based practice from expert tutors.
At the Expressive Communication Center, students meet with peer consultants for help with all phases of presentation preparation and delivery, including but not limited to:
So you have to give a speech — now what? Deciding what you want to talk about is the first step. Our peer consultants are trained to help you decide on an idea that you’re passionate about and that will speak to a larger audience. Ultimately, we want to help you find your voice! A presentation is always better when you care what you’re talking about, so we’re here to help narrow down that focus.
Preparing an outline can be a daunting aspect of a presentation, but it’s something we can help you embrace! Our goal is to help you design an outline for any kind of presentation or speech that works best for your speaking style. You’ll likely end up with two different outlines — one for organizing the speech, and the second for delivery purposes. We want to find the method that works best for you!
Oftentimes, it’s helpful to back up what you’re saying with a visual aid — we can help with that! The goal is to create something that supports what you’re talking about without distracting your audience. From the content to the color scheme, our peer consultants will help you create material that strengthens your topic
To some, the delivery is the most exciting step of a presentation, but to others, it's the scariest. No matter your comfort level, we’re here to help. Our peer consultants will look at every aspect of the deliverable: your tone, your speed, your movements, everything! We know that it’s tempting to just “wing” a presentation, but it can be really helpful to practice ahead of time. We provide a judgement-free zone to help you get your point across in the best way possible.
We fully understand how nerve wracking it can be to speak in front of your peers and professors, but we also know how rewarding it can be! We want to work with you through every step of the process. Even if you already have your presentation written, the next step is to make you comfortable speaking. The ultimate goal is to make you confident.
In-person, virtual, and small group appointments available
In-person appointments. Arrive at Wallace Library, suite A600 at your scheduled appointment time.
Virtual individual appointments. To join a virtual appointment, shortly before your appointment time, log in and click on your appointment in the scheduling system, and then select the red 'start or join online consultation' link.
Small group appointments. In-person small group appointments will take place in Wallace Library, suite A600. Small groups may also schedule virtual appointments. To do this, have one group member make the appointment. On the appointment intake form, they must select the "group" option and provide the emails of the other group members. A Zoom meeting join link will be emailed to the group members.
Walk-In Hours for Fall 2021
We have a limited number of walk-in hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-2pm that will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each available walk-in slot appears on the scheduling calendar and opens fifteen minutes before its start and remains open until it fills or the time passes. This allows you to make appointments as you arrive or when you're ready to start your meeting.
*If you require interpreting services, please make interpreting requests through Access Services.
Faculty from any discipline may request customized oral communication support for their courses. If you include speaking assignments in your courses—such as speeches, presentations, group presentations, debates, discussions, and oral exams—the ECC director is available to work with you on devising those assignments and their associated grading.
Faculty can require or recommend that students visit the ECC, either for a specific assignment, or for general support.
For questions related to writing the ECC into grants or incorporating the ECC into research, please contact Director of the School of Communication, Dr. Kelly Norris Martin.
Meet Our Consultants
The Expressive Communication Center is staffed by undergraduate and graduate students from various majors across RIT. Consultants are trained to work with students from all backgrounds, with some able to assist in languages other than English, including ASL.
Please review the profiles below to identify the consultant best suited to help you as you prepare your presentation.
Marie Fraser is a second year Physician Assistant BS/MS student with a minor in Psychology. She plays on the varsity volleyball team. She likes yoga, card games, and baking. If you want assistance on how to deal with public speaking anxiety, book an appointment with Marie.
Gabby Garcia is a fourth year Industrial Design major with a double minor in Communication and Supply Chain Management. She is part of the RIT Steel Band Ensemble and loves hockey. Gabby’s strength is helping student-clients with their delivery skills; if you have a big (or small!) presentation coming up, visit Gabby at the ECC!
Damare Hanks is a fifth year Advertising and Public Relations major fluent in Ebonics. He is a member of the Multicultural Center for Success and is working on running his own business based on creativity and community. As a native Rochesterarian, Damare is very involved in Rochester’s urban community and has a strong interest in music and the arts. When working with clients, Damare is great at connecting any concern you may have with real world experience from working with clients and his own speeches.
Kyle James is a third-year Game Design and Development major with a minor in Exercise Science and immersion in Communications. He is an Interactive Games and Media (IGM) ambassador and officiates intramural soccer and basketball. In addition, he enjoys going to the gym, playing video games, and traveling. If you need assistance with your speeches, be sure to schedule an appointment with Kyle!
Mikayla MacIntyre is a second year Applied Statistics and Actuarial Sciences student with an immersion in Communication. She is a member of club Theme Park Enthusiasts and she has recently been accepted as a member of the College of Science Student Advisory Board. Over the past year, Mikayla has discovered her love of public speaking and is determined to show others that it isn’t something to be scared of. She enjoys helping others create passionate and interesting speeches through positive feedback. To make sure your next speech is the best it can be, book with Mikayla today!
Amasha(RAY) McDonald is a second year Communication major. She is a member of the Student Advisory Board serving as the Communication Representative. As a Freshman she earned the title “Rookie of the Year” in the School of Communication for her outstanding academic achievements. Ray has a natural passion for speaking and writing. She was honored to be asked to share her public speaking class speech at the Martin Luther King Legacy Program last Spring. She is skilled at helping you have a strong and confident delivery, as well as finding and championing your creative and unique voice. With Ray you are bound to get an A!
Shannon McPhee is a fourth year Advertising and Public Relations major with an immersion in Psychology. She is a member of Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, the winner of the ECC’s Spring 2020 Institute Public Speaking Contest, and serves on the COLA Student Advisory Board representing the Advertising and Public Relations program. She is skilled at preparing and organizing speech outlines, as well as creating the perfect multimedia to catch your audience’s eye. Shannon is currently working in a Co-Op position at the ECC, and takes walk-ins and appointments scheduled by request.
The Expressive Communication Center is a great resource for RIT students.The consultants at the ECC have helped me become more skillful in my speech writing and delivery. I learn new skills in each appointment I make. The ECC makes me a confident speaker by helping me with public speaking anxiety strategies and practicing methods. As an interpreting major, my delivery skills are essential and the ECC helps me build them. I am very grateful for the ECC and I plan to attend for each presentation I have to give!
I’ve seen a significant correlation between groups who had worked with the ECC and outstanding presentations in my classes. It wasn't just the material that was enhanced by these meetings, but the content as well. Instead of listing information to fill space, they really constructed more in-depth exploration of their topics. I'm so impressed with how the ECC was able to impact my students’ learning and engagement!
The one-on-one style work that the ECC does is what makes it stand out. They have good people there, all of whom are students themselves, so they understand the classroom setting. Having these one-on-one conversations about what to improve or what to keep the same in a speech really helps me and my confidence. The students working there are all very friendly and are all “people persons.” After just a few minutes, it’s easy to relate to them.
My professor made my first visit to the ECC mandatory for an assignment, but I decided to come back again after seeing major improvement in my presentations from just my first visit. The student consultant who helped me practice my speech was beyond friendly and even more helpful with constructive criticism on where I need to improve. To any student that wants to improve their speaking skills or gain confidence for an upcoming presentation, the ECC is the place to go.
Here you will find additional resources for the Expressive Communication Center, such as examples of great communication, getting the most out of your appointment with the ECC, steps in the speechmaking process, and managing speaking anxiety.