Oratory Now a Huge Success

This summer, Oratory Now visited the Vermont campus, teaching tips and tricks for public speaking to colleagues at all levels and across sectors.

Andrea Donahue and Matt Brockett bravely participate in the tongue out intros…and laugh while doing it!

What makes Oratory Now unique from most public speaking programs and classes is that the coaches are college students. This, coupled with each facilitators down-to-earth approach and friendly demeanor, removed the intimidation factor that so often comes with public speaking workshops.


The other thing that makes this program different is that it’s anything but lecture style. In fact, it’s all play based, and quite fun! The facilitators offer game-style public speaking opportunities both in small groups and in front of an entire group that challenge, inspire, and offer immediate take-a-ways for improvement. But, participants had to be prepared to try anything…even sticking their tongue out!


Coaches Kate and Randy demonstrate tongue out introductions – a way to get embarrassment out on the table early on and make the rest of the session a total breeze!

Founded in 2015, Oratory Now is a student-driven, faculty-directed center for training and research in oral expression that provides services to students at Middlebury College. It was born of two goals: speaking well and speaking civilly. This summer, they piloted their program here at National Life to see how well it would work in a business setting. We think they did a great job!

The group is directed by Dana Yeaton and we enjoyed having him and two of his student coaches join us for several weeks, Randy Spillane and Kate Hilscher.

We’re hoping to bring the folks at Oratory Now back in the fall, and we’re also hoping to send them to Texas! Keep an eye out for details.

See? We told you it was fun.