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Oral Communication Program

The study of oral communication is a core component of a student's academic work at the University of Maryland.

Our mission is to identify and promote oral communication principles and practices that prepare communicators for the challenges that they will face in their academic, personal, professional and civic lives.

In order to be effective communicators, students need to understand the research and theory underlying presentational speaking. However, they also need to be able to apply these conceptual principles to various contexts (e.g., informative communication, interpersonal relationships, interviews, group work and persuasive speeches). These principles and skills are central to every student’s academic, personal, professional and civic success.

The Oral Communication Program is dedicated to helping students achieve the general education learning outcomes for oral communication. Through our introductory communication courses and the Oral Communication Center, we train our students to be able to meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of oral communication in academic, social, civic and professional endeavors
  • Demonstrate effectiveness in using verbal and nonverbal language appropriate to the goal and the context of the communication
  • Demonstrate an ability to listen carefully
  • Demonstrate skill in asking and in responding to questions
  • Demonstrate competency in planning, preparing and presenting effective oral presentations
  • Use effective presentation techniques including presentation graphics

We support these efforts with a robust COMM107 instructor training program that includes an extensive pre-semester orientation and a semester-long mentoring program for new instructors.

Beyond overseeing these programs, our team conducts a variety of assessment projects that examine the principles and practices of oral communication. We are particularly interested in projects that explore learning outcomes, presentational speaking and listening gains and other topics related to the basic communication course.

For questions about COMM107, instructor training, oral communication assessment projects, partnership opportunities or the program in general, please contact Lindsey Anderson.

For questions about presentation coaching, the peer consultant program, the online scheduling system or the Oral Communication Center in general, please contact Raph Mazzone.

The Oral Communication Program and the Oral Communication Center are housed in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland.

The Oral Communication Center

About Us

Since 2012, the OCC has been the premier resource for coaching and instruction on the University of Maryland campus. Housed in the Department of Communication, the OCC offers support for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff who seek to improve their communication skills for success in academic, professional, civic and social contexts. 

Clients who book appointments with our trained peer consultants benefit from our peer-to-peer tutoring model. Our consultants are expert public speakers with a passion for empowering others as communicators. We are here to help you express yourself cogently and confidently!

Our Services

The OCC is here to empower you as a communicator!​ The OCC's mission is to offer the University of Maryland community high-quality consulting and training in the art of oral communication and to conduct research that continually advances best practices in the field. 

We strive to help clients become excellent speakers and listeners from planning to practice through the following services: 

  • Peer consulting for presentations, speeches and other modes of oral communication
  • Speech planning and practice assistance
  • Interactive workshops on a variety of relevant communication skills
  • Special events and workshop series

Oral Communication Program Team

Lindsey Anderson

2108 Skinner Building
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-8979

Alyson Farzad-Phillips

Graduate Student, Communication

2130 Skinner Building
College Park MD, 20742

Nora Heist

Graduate Student, Communication

Melissa Lucas

Lecturer, Communication

2130 Skinner Building
College Park MD, 20742

Raphael Mazzone

Lecturer, Communication
Director, Communication

2130 Skinner Building
College Park MD, 20742

Andrew Wolvin

Professor & Executive Director, Communication

2111 Skinner Building
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-6521