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Oral Communication

Oral Communication

At Santa Clara, we understand the value of students developing effective oral presentation skills, including the ability of speakers to tailor their message clearly and confidently for specific audiences and situations. Students gain experience in generating, organizing, and conveying original ideas using powerful language, technology or digital media aides, and non-verbal communication. In addition to developing these formal presentation skills, SCU students actively contribute to discussions or debates in their courses, within their many team projects, and through participation in student organizations.


of seniors responded that their experience at SCU contributed very much or quite a bit to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in speaking clearly and effectively (NSSE, 2018).


of seniors reported frequently contributing to class discussion; another 32% do so occasionally (HERI College Senior Survey, 2019).

Doodle of student presenting in front of a computer screen displaying a chart. Student Capstone Experiences

  • SCU undergraduate Engineering programs invite engineering professionals from Silicon Valley to attend students’ senior design presentations. These experts find seniors meet the programs’ target standard of performance in effective communication, in addition to other competencies.
  • Students in many other majors, such as Communication, Biology, Public Health, and Child Studies, complete oral presentations of their senior capstone projects.

Doodle of three people sitting at a table.Opportunities and Support

  • 60% of SCU faculty use student presentations in all or most of the courses they teach (HERI Faculty Survey, 2016-17).
  • 33% of SCU faculty use performances or demonstrations in all or most of the courses they teach (HERI Faculty Survey, 2016-17).
  • The HUB has five peer advisers with training in public speaking available to consult with students. The HUB website also contains helpful resources on public speaking.