Merten Brings Summertime to Communication Class

Posted: June 26, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Michelle Nery

The words “Summertime and the livin’ is easy” drifted through the corridors of Enterprise Hall on Thursday, June 7, as President Alan Merten shared one of his favorite songs, “Summertime,” with the Communication 104 Presenting with Technology class. Merten also shared the comical song “Nobody’s Perfect” from the Broadway play I Do, I Do. “It’s a husband and wife talking about each others ‘faults,'” says Merten. The song is one of his favorites because he and his wife saw the play on Broadway just before they married.

“In this technological age, the ability to communicate is the distinctive competency that sets people apart,” says Merten.

Communication assistant professor Lisa Sparks Bethea requested that Merten bring the songs to the class to demonstrate how speeches flow. “We want to project ourselves as speakers using aspects of song, including rhythm, repetition, and crescendo, while using the supporting technology as the backdrop for the message like backup singers,” says Sparks Bethea.

The objective of the Presenting with Technology course is to help students gain a deeper understanding of the uses of technology in the process of oral communication, to help students develop the skills and strategies necessary to prepare and deliver informative and persuasive speeches, and to help students gain more confidence with communicating in public contexts.

“I can’t think of anything more important to learn when you are a student than to learn how to give a speech,” says Merten. “No matter what your major, you should strive to be a better communicator.”

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