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Mount Holyoke College
Weissman Center for Leadership

Speak Up! Practicing Everyday Leadership

Workshop Descriptions


The Voice of Kingian Nonviolence

President Lynn Pasquerella, Mount Holyoke College, and Victoria Christgau 

The Six Principles of Nonviolence are at the center of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s nonviolence philosophy. By voicing these powerful concepts, dynamic discussions develop and many questions are raised. This exploration enables participants to gain greater understanding of Dr. King's foundational work and to gain trust in vocalizing bold ideas that support courageous leadership.

Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety

Laura Greenfield
Public speaking is reported to be the greatest fear among people in the United States, so if it makes you want to turn and run, you are not alone! Come to this workshop to learn practical strategies for developing confidence as a public speaker (no one will be forced to speak publicly at the workshop).

Raise Your Voice, Speak Your Truth: Unsung Heroes You Will Want to Meet

Elaine Brigham
This double session workshop focuses on how our actions can impact our world by looking at the often unsung heroes and heroines whose work left a mark on history, shaped social movements, changed the course of major events and movements, impacted countless lives, and whose names are often unknown. They are activists, allies, trailblazers & educators whom you may not know, & who you will want to meet. By learning about the people outside the spotlight, both historically and those still working to create change today, we can see a clearer picture of how to raise our voices and speak our truths. The session will include an interactive presentation with visual images and music as well as time to engage with each other and dialogue.

Listen Before You Leap!

Elizabeth Markovits
This workshop will give participants an introduction to the tools of rhetorical analysis. The hope is that by becoming sharp listeners and paying close attention to our rhetorical context, we can improve our own abilities to make ourselves understood and find shared terrain even when
we disagree strongly.

Learning to Embrace Conflict: Some Tools for the Task

Carol Stewart
Conflict is a natural component of human interaction -  how we manage conflict effectively as we work and play with each other becomes the real challenge. This workshop will provide some approaches and tools you can use to “embrace conflict” as an unavoidable and vital component to engaging with others in the world.

Acting Techniques for Public Speaking

Susan Daniels
Susan Daniels, a professional actor and MHC Public Speaking Instructor, will share some techniques and practices that actors use to relax, focus their message and connect with their audience. This playful, interactive workshop is useful for anyone wanting more confidence, authenticity and charisma in their presentations.

Leadership and Communication Practices in Islam

Elizaveta Lozovaya
With an eye towards women's leadership, MHC's Muslim Chaplain will offer information, exercises, and guided reflection about how the conference theme may be interpreted through the lens of Islam. All are welcome.

Is it Better to Be Loved or Feared? Rival Views on Leadership

Jim Hartley
Before becoming a leader, it is good to decide what type of leader you want to become.  In the early 16th century, Niccolo Machiavelli and Martin Luther both wrote treatises explaining how to be a good leader. Their advice differs. Who is right?

Memorable Speaking Style

Christine Overstreet
Good organization, careful research, and attention to timing all contribute to making a speech good. What makes a speech great? Memorable word structures! This workshop will include a PowerPoint tutorial of the ways to enliven a speech by using metaphors, personification, cadence, parallelism, and other stylistic features. We will then work in small groups to transform a good speech into a great one.

Group Decision-Making, Culture and Leadership

Joshua Nelson
This session will explore organizational dynamics and leadership strategies, and how culture impacts our choices. We will examine decision-making methods, barriers and breakthroughs, learning how to work together as bridge builders in group decision-making situations.

Language Diversity in Academic Settings

John Grayson and Yedalis Ruiz
This facilitated discussion will explore the benefits and drawbacks of "code-switching" (i.e. using only standardized languages at school, and mother tongues at home) on individuals and communities, and will consider the role that stigmatized languages such as African American
Vernacular English should play at the 5 Colleges.

Presenting with Power

Patricia VandenBerg
 Learn how to use nonverbal communication to make a great impression and connect with your audience, whether you are presenting to one or to many.

Stand Like a Rock
Kesha Ram
Kesha Ram is a Vermont State Representative and currently the youngest legislator serving in the country. She will speak from her own experience about finding your voice, making mistakes, and sticking to your principles.