Synergy Speakers' Corner boosts students' confidence

< More Stories
December 14, 2016
The popularity of public speaking is on the rise at Lakeland College thanks to Synergy Speakers’ Corner.
Group photo of Synergy Speakers' Corner participants
For Reva Allen, an accounting technician student, presentations are something she looks forward to now. She joined this extracurricular initiative in the fall and was quick to complete all of the projects outlined in the Synergy Speakers’ Corner Competent Communication 1 and Leadership Manual.

“I wanted to improve my skills and now I wish I could do more public speaking,” says Allen, whose first brush with public speaking was with 4-H. “With Synergy Speakers’ Corner, it makes me push myself more. If I can talk in front of a whole group of unknown people, in a way I can accomplish anything.”

Launched in 2015, Speakers’ Corner is a bi-weekly event co-organized by business students Kimberly May and Hyunki Jung. With key support from sponsor Synergy Credit Union this year, students gather over the noon hour to practice the art of public speaking by presenting timed speeches. On average, there are 50 students at each session.

To achieve the Competent Communicator 1 award and receive a green pin, students must complete five out of seven public speaking projects, which range from “breaking the ice” to telling a story, leading a discussion and sharing a joke.

Working through each project and presenting in front of her peers has proven to be a big confidence boost for Jacey Funk, a business administration accounting major.

“For my first speech, I was nervous and my anxiety levels were really high, but then for the most recent one it was my best speech so far. I am starting to realize how important body language is for public speaking,” says Funk. “I have more confidence so I speak up a lot more in class. More of my professors know me now too and I have been getting more help that way. Overall, my confidence in class has risen a lot and my grades reflect that. I am very glad I joined Speakers’ Corner.”

Ben Acquaye, the business department chair, and Angela Minish, a business instructor, and other staff facilitate each session and provide feedback regularly to students. “Their input has really helped me. After each speech they share how it went and what I can improve on,” says Funk, adding she’s worked hard on improving her body language.

During the final Synergy Speakers’ Corner session for 2016 on Thursday, Dec. 8, eight students received their green pin, including Allen and Funk. These students will move on to the Competent Communicator 2 level next semester. They’ll work towards their gold pin by participating in debates, learning how to give a toast and other speaking projects. Students can also work towards the Effective Leadership plaque by completing four of the following projects: greeter, group facilitator, speech evaluator, time keeper and mentor a member.

Eager to continue public speaking and working on the Speakers’ Corner projects, Allen also looks forward to helping others as a mentor. “I like listening to other people and am more than happy to help others with their presentations,” she says. “Synergy Speakers’ Corner will help you go further. The more you practice, the better you get.”

Photo: At their last Synergy Speakers' Corner meeting, eight students received green pins for completing the Competent Communication 1 and Leadership Manual. They'll move on to the Competent Communicator 2 level next semester.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience