Running head: SPEECH LAB


Derek Platte
Speech Lab Awareness on Campus
Grand Valley State University



This research paper is dealing with the topic of raising awareness for the Grand Valley State
University speech lab. The purpose of this paper is to answer the question, what is the best way
to make college students aware of the speech lab at Grand Valley State University? The question
is answered by research using databases and google using the Boolean search method. The
results are credible and appropriate and the right conclusion was reached. Based on the results
the conclusion is that Grand Valley’s speech lab should focus on social media followed by direct
mail via email. The data was up to date and applicable to the current situation.
Keywords: speech lab, awareness, advertising, service, and communication.


Speech Lab Awareness on Campus

The speech lab on Grand Valley State University’s campus is run by its associated
director, Carl Brown. He has been hired to raise awareness to students and faculty about the
speech lab. To understand how to build awareness for the speech lab on campus we must first
understand what the speech lab does. Now, the fear of public speaking is no secret as many
people are nervous about performing a speech. Also, this fear has many severities such as just a
little anxiety like increased heart beat and the other end of the spectrum of increased perspiration
followed by fainting at the podium. To quote Carl Brown himself, “the best way to overcome
this fear is just repetition.” If a person gives public speeches, class presentations, or just
answering a professor’s question in class the fear will disappear for most people. Grand Valley’s
speech lab looks to combat this fear by helping people at any point of their speech. A person can
visit the speech lab without a topic in mind and the consultants will help them find one. From the
absolute beginning of finding a topic to the end such as practicing delivery the speech is able to
help (“GV speech lab enters its second year”, 2014). Just like Grand Valley’s speech lab there is
also one at North Carolina Central University where the speech lab is called a speech studio. In
this speech studio they do not limit themselves “to only helping students with assignments given
by professors; we also help them with grammar, speech anxiety, speech disfluencies, and much
more” (Smalls & Burnette, 2014). Supplementing this information, there was a series of focus
groups held at Virginia Tech and the focus groups consisted of seven to twelve students who
have visited their speech center. The results of this study “confirmed that CommLab is a valuable
campus resource, and the concept of peer speech tutoring is perceived as both helpful and
effective.” (Quesenberry, B., 2013). Additionally, the tutors could help to improve grades by



helping students develop skills over time to become independent learners (“Student Academic
Consulting Center (SACC)”, (2014).
A student knowing what the speech lab can offer them is the first part of the formula of
increasing the amount of visits to one thousand in the fall 2015 semester. Next, the message that
the speech lab exists has to be dangled in front of their faces. However, it’s not as easy as it
sounds with so many messages you want to them to see such as locations in both Allendale and
downtown Grand Rapids, what the speech lab can do to help, and increasing grades on
presentations. The hard part is reaching the attention of the busy college public.
After all, the achievements the speech lab has made since its opening mean nothing if it
can’t help more students. All of this leads up to the one research that has to be answered. That
question is what is the best way to make college students aware of the speech lab at Grand
Valley State University?
The purpose of this secondary research is to find as many sources as you can that relate to
the research question to make an informed conclusion. The sources must be credible in order to
come to a conclusion that is also credible. To start off, before diving into a seemingly endless
amount of information keywords must be established to act as a filter in the ocean of
information. The keywords for this particular secondary research were: speech lab, awareness,
advertising, service, and communication. Along with these keywords there are synonyms that
were used as well.
Crafting the research question is an important part of any secondary research paper. The
question can’t be answered with a simple yes or no response. It also can’t be too broad to where



the information is overwhelming. Although, it can’t be too specific to where there isn’t enough
information available to reach an educated conclusion. All the research for the speech lab’s
research question was a mix of highly credible sources from organizations found on Grand
Valley State University’s databases to credible sources from Google.
In order to find sources for this paper, the Boolean search method was used by entering a
keyword and search phrase inside quotations. This method was incredibly useful because it
narrowed the results to a manageable amount of sources.
To restate the research question that was used in this paper, what is the best way to make
college students aware of the speech lab at Grand Valley State University? My hypothesis is that
the best way to reach the college student public is to focus on social media to get the message
across but in order for them to get to the social media sites the speech lab needs to tell them
about it. The best way to do this is use direct mail via email.
The first piece of research to present comes from a study posted by Marketing Charts. It
tracks down the numbers of what advertisements college students pay most attention to. The
study found that 68 percent of students notice posters and billboards. Also, the study found that
60 percent of students noticed advertisements on social media sites and direct mail (“Which
Types of Ads Do College Students Pay Attention to?”, 2014). This information is important
because this gives a lead to which direction to head when trying to raise awareness about the
speech lab. To complement this study there is another source that performed a study about
internet marketing. The conclusion to this study stated that “getting more people to know and
care about a brand will have huge benefits in both the long term and the short term. Positive



brand perception by consumers can have amazing effects on consumer’s behavior and internet
marketing makes it easier than ever to get positive information out there.” (Roesler, 2014).
Obviously the speech lab isn’t a brand but the message can be translated easily for it to be useful
information to building awareness across campus.
Another useful source that was found is a study from Higher Education Studies inquiring
about UAE University student’s awareness of the writing center on campus. The study posed the
question “What or who encouraged you to visit the writing center?” Two answers were found to
be the majority: 64 percent answered, “My friend recommended it” and 22 percent answered,
“My instructor suggested it” (Murshidi & Abd, 2014). This study is for a writing center on a
different college campus so you can’t make a specific inference for Grand Valley students only
from this source. However, it is a campus resource and the messaging and results can be
translated to fit the Grand Valley speech lab. According to this study the most effective
advertisement to students currently is word of mouth.
The final source I found was also study on how to reach college students. This study was
conducted in Oregon in 2012. The study’s findings were:
Social media managers will be pleased with the results of the survey. 83% of college
students reported that social media was the best way to reach them with news of student
discounts and other offers, followed by email marketing, posting news on a company
website, and on-campus marketing, at 63%, 55%, and 38% respectively. (“How to
Actually Reach College Students”, 2012)
These results are fairly similar to the previously stated study on Market Charts. Social media and
email direct mail at the top of the list in both studies.



In reference to the results section, my hypothesis was proven true by the sources. The
best way to increase awareness to college students is to focus efforts on social media followed up
by direct mail via email.
Although the sources in the results section don’t particularly pertain to Grand Valley’s
campus the skills and results can be translated and used to benefit the speech lab. The first source
listed is a general study for the United States which means the results may not be consistent
everywhere in the United States but workable.
The second source in the results section has a more market based destination about brand
recognition but again, the findings of that study could be used by the speech lab especially that
the study focuses on internet marketing.
Finally, the third source in the results section compliments the first by reassuring the
findings of the first study. The third source is more sectioned as far as the area it was conducted
but it is applicable to the Grand Valley speech lab.
With all this taken into consideration, the findings are valid because the studies were
conducted professionally with little regional bias making them credible. The ultimate answer to
the research question for the speech lab is focus on social media followed by direct mail via



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Murshidi, G. A., & Abd, K. A. (2014, May 28). UAE University Students’ Awareness of Using
the Writing Center. Higher Education Studies, 4(3), 58-63. doi:10.5539/hes.v4n3p58
Quesenberry, B. (2013). Virginia Tech Senior Showcases CommLab Research at Undergrad
Research Conference.Communication Centers Newsletter, 3. Retrieved January 28, 2015,
Roesler, P. (2014, August 11). Why and How You Should Use Internet Marketing to Improve
Brand Awareness. Retrieved January 28, 2015, from
Smalls, M., & Burnette, C. (2014). Bridging The Gap- Meeting Students Where They
Are. Communication Centers Newsletter, 4. Retrieved January 28, 2015, from



“Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC)” (2014). In Baruch College. Retrieved January
28, 2015, from
“Which Types of Ads Do College Students Pay Attention to?” (2014, June 15). In Marketing
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