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Minor in Communications?

  1. Sep 14, 2011 #1
    Just a little background: I'm a junior in mechanical engineering and only recently have I considered getting a minor not related to my field. For a career, I plan on going into something involving space exploration (a little vague yes).

    Now about the communications minor: I, myself, am not the best at public speaking or high pressure one on one conversations. Even in conversations with friends I can pause often and go "uh uh um uh uh" if something unexpected comes up. I DO NOT want this to stay with me throughout my life especially with this chosen career. Being what the industry is, I know there are times where you need to persuade someone to accept your idea or convince them to fund it.

    I would like to be better at this by doing some communications courses.

    Now, my question.. Would this actually help me with that goal? I don't think taking just one course would help, I would probably just try to get through the course. I want to learn and apply. Right now, I get extremely nervous at the prospect of public speaking. I want to at least numb that a little bit.

    Would the minor help me in doing this? And more importantly, is it worth taking up time from my engineering courses to pursue this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2011 #2
    You might want to start by getting comfortable talking to strangers. Then, find any excuse to speak in public. A cool thing I do whenever I get the chance is to poke fun at anything I can think of - improvised "speech". If done right, chicks (or people in general) dig it, which isn't a bad thing.
    Then again, it might be because I was talking about overcoming social anxiety, then moved on to talking about how Twilight is everything that's wrong with our world...when everybody else spoke about very serious stuff like euthanasia, burning out a-a-and zzZzzzZzz...

    In any event, practice is key. Have at it man!
    Also, don't get discouraged if things don't work out the way you want them to. Try to *not* talk too much and over-analyse everything you say or that is said to you. I think you might actually like the experience. Striking up conversations with strangers is really interesting.
  4. Sep 14, 2011 #3


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    Hey Dauden and welcome to the forums.

    For what you have in mind I would recommend Toastmasters. It's an international group that focuses primarily on the things you are trying to improve on in your life.

    I got to Toastmasters myself, and in my opinion it will help you with all the things you have mentioned, as Toastmasters has helped me in the exact same way.

    Many universities have a Toastmasters chapter, but there are also many towns and cities and suburbs that also have a chapter. Some might even contain multiple chapters in a small local vicinity.

    I recommend you check it out, and by the sounds of your post, I think you will enjoy it a lot.
  5. Sep 15, 2011 #4
    Thanks, I'll definitely check Toastmasters out. It will save me much time and money!

    Hopefully, I'll stick with it as well. Haha.
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