Developing Public Speaking Skills in Undergraduates: A Two-Day Event

  • Katie Rachel Carpenter Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Claire Kennan Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London


Public Speaking for First-Year Historians was an initiative which ran for the first time in June 2016 in the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. The 2-day event was proposed and designed by 2 postgraduate research students who wanted to address the lack of formal training for presentations in history degree programmes. In particular, a key aim of the event was to engage students in skills and techniques for oral communication, especially practical exercises that could be implemented throughout their studies.  In outlining the aims of the initiative and the methods used to deliver the training, this article evaluates the success of student engagement strategies and analyses its potential for future development.

Author Biography

Katie Rachel Carpenter, Royal Holloway, University of London

Department of History

Visiting Teacher

Doctoral Candidate


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Ferreira Marinho, A. C., Mesquita de Medeiros, A., Côrtes Gama, A. C., & Caldas Teixeira, L. (2016). Fear of Public Speaking: Perception of College Students and Correlates. Journal of Voice.

Fredericks, Jennifer A., Blumefeld, Phylllis C., & Paris, Alison H. (2004). School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74, 59-109.

Gehrke, P. J. (2016). Introduction to Special Issue on Teaching First-Year Communication Courses. Review of Communication, 16, 109-113.

McCroskey, J. C. (1970). Measures of Communication-Bound Anxiety. Speech Monographs, XXXVII, 269-277.

How to Cite
Carpenter, K. R., & Kennan, C. (2017). Developing Public Speaking Skills in Undergraduates: A Two-Day Event. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 1(2), 117. Retrieved from
Case studies/Practice Pieces