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Public speaking certificate offered at Biltmore Park instructional site

Western Carolina University’s Office of Professional Growth and Enrichment is offering a public speaking certificate for managers and leaders through a series of Friday sessions that begin Oct. 18 and continue through Nov. 15.

The first four sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the last one on Nov. 15 will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include a celebratory luncheon. All the sessions will be held at WCU’s instructional site at Biltmore Park in Asheville.

Four expert public speaking and training professionals from Western North Carolina have created the program, which is designed to help managers and executives improve their public speaking skills over time.

Those professionals are Barrie Barton, founder and lead facilitator of Stand and Deliver Asheville; Betty Farmer, award-winning professor of communication at WCU and communications consultant to individuals, businesses and nonprofits; Jim Manning, WCU communication professor and coordinator of the university’s required introductory communication course; and Bill Mackinnon, who has a background in communication and public speaking training for executives.

“Managers and leaders realize the importance of continuous improvement and understand effective communication is integral to success,” Farmer said. “Whether speaking to employees, clients, partners, community groups or the media, an effective manager or leader learns to adapt the message and their approach to the audience.”

As they participate in the program, managers and leaders will identify their personal strengths and how to improve their delivery through an understanding of the science behind speaking presence, the importance of body language and the power of vocals. Course content includes hands-on activities, coaching and group interaction.

Participants will create and deliver several short presentations that are rehearsed and improved over time. Instructors will capture video of participants in action so they can self-assess and improve their final presentation.

The fee for participation is $849, with a nonprofit rate of $649. Lunch will be included each day.

For more information and to register, visit or call 828-227-7397.

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