Thursday, August 11 2022

Contact: Madison Welzbacher

Old Main Academic Center is the location of MSU’s new Speaking Center. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi — A new university resource is now available for students and employees in the State of Mississippi who wish to improve their speaking skills.

The MSU Speaking Center is designed to assist in the training of skills on the development of the subject and purpose of speech, audience adaptation, organization, visual and audio delivery, and the use of visual aids. People can also get help to reduce the apprehension of public speaking.

Located in room 3290 of the Old Main Academic Center, the venue is named after Tom Freeman, a 1982 MSU chemical engineering alumnus, and his wife, Jean, of Starkville, who endowed the study room with 2017. Other generous alumni nominated support for equipment, furniture and daily operating costs. A presence on the centre’s website is currently under development.

Cheryl Chambers, instructor in MSU’s communications department, is currently director of the center. She said the center was established with the aim of helping students overcome anxiety related to public speaking.

Tom and Jean Freeman (from left) pictured with Cheryl Chambers
Tom and Jean Freeman (left to right) pictured with Cheryl Chambers in the MSU Speaking Center, room 3290 in the Old Main Academic Center. (Photo submitted)

“Other centers on campus are doing a great job providing students with additional assistance in other areas, and this center will provide students with more opportunities for one-on-one assistance in public speaking,” Chambers said.

Currently recruiting upper class students in the communications department to serve as interns and consultants, interested students can contact Chambers at Becoming a peer consultant, however, is an opportunity for all students. Students can enroll in a course on a special subject titled “Speech Center Consultant” (CO 4990, section 07) to train as a peer consultant and receive one hour credit per semester.

The center also offers consultations with external experts to improve overall service and quality. Once participants have prepared the presentation to the optimum level, they have access to subject matter experts who can help ensure that the information presented is accurate and up to date.

While the center is in operation and making appointments since October, an official groundbreaking ceremony will take place in the spring to allow visitors to view the space and technology available and to learn more about the centre’s offerings. .

To schedule a Speaking Center consultation, visit To learn more about supporting the growth and development of this new resource, contact College of Arts and Sciences Development Director Sara Frederic at or 662-315-2006.

MSU is Mississippi’s premier university, available online at

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