It’s one of the most dreaded courses in any students’ college career – public speaking. Luckily for students at the Kogod School of Business, one pawsome course provides audience dogs to ease the anxiety of speaking.
Roughly 70% of college students have a fear of public speaking, according to communication expert James McCroskey. To help alleviate those fears, the Kogod Center for Business Communications provides business students the chance to practice speeches and presentations by addressing a friendly “audience dog.”
Kogod’s Audience Dog program allows students to practice speaking to an audience of friendly, furred, four-legged volunteers, alleviating the anxiety and stress that often accompanies speaking to an audience of peers.
Because dogs are non-judgemental and naturally therapeutic (not to mention, the cutest audience a student could ever hope to speak for), their presence alone has a calming affect, enhances students’ moods, and allows them to practice and improve their quality of speaking without the stress of human eyes staring back at them.
The Audience Dog Program has become so popular among students, the dogs are even starring in their own Instagram page:
Noche stopped by today wanting to know if he could be an audience dog, and who could say no to that face?! Public speaking can be scary, but would you practice giving a speech to this fluffball? We would. . . #audiencedog #dogsoﬁnstagram #dogstagram #americanuniversity #kogodschoolofbusiness #fluffy
The non-credit Audience Dogs course is available free to business students hoping to enhance their speaking skills.