Talking the Talk

Curtis Voelker is an Admissions Counselor at Central Penn College. He spoke to the 10th and 11th grade Retail Marketing & Sales students at DCTS.  His presentation topic was communications — it was informative and engaging. Here is a brief recap:

Introductions: Students were instructed to stand up, speak directly to the class, and address the following:  Name, grade and dream job.

Students engaged in a lesson about communicaitons

Students engaged in a lesson about communications

Feedback: Voelker shared positive comments about students making eye contact as well as making use of the space in the room.

Observations: Students made eye contact, smiled, projected their voice, and demonstrated poise.

The presentation continued with the Telephone game:

Start: Voelker whispers to 1st student, “My name is Curtis and the brown lazy fox jumped over the river.” Message is passed from one student to another — 27 total students. End: blah, blah, blah

What happened?

Student feedback:

  • One person was louder
  • One person didn’t listen
  • Not everyone took it seriously
  • Had to keep repeating message so communicator got frustrated and so did receiver

What we learned about what to do: speak clearly, pay attention, use short sentences, don’t laugh, and pay attention (did I say that already?).

Presentation Topics:

  1. Verbal
  2. Non verbal
  3. Written
  4. Online


  • When/where
  • Phone – tone of voice


  • Non eye-contact
  • Head to toe
  • Eye contact is key – engagement
  • Scan the room
  • Interact with audience makes message more powerful
  • Arms crossed
  • Chair not on ground

Non-verbal cues
Q: What do these say to the speaker?
A: Maybe they’re not interested, but focus on the ones that are or try to interact with them.


  • Write clearly and legibly
  • Things to keep in mind when you write:  topic sentences, handwriting, key points, spelling/grammar, staying on topic, using your own words and citing sources


  1. Everyone watches what you post
  2. Be appropriate with pics
  3. Friend people you know
  4. Nothing can be deleted
  5. Status updates – age appropriate
  6. Take quality wholesome photos

Things to keep in mind when using social media:

  • Highlight your college choice
  • Highlight your graduation
  • Captions can save it from being a bad photos (maybe)
  • Profile, cover photo, likes, friends, use of emoticons all represent you

Observations about Central Penn FB page:

  • Organized
  • Color scheme
  • Interactive (people comment and give feedback) -profile picture (simple and clean)


Communications is a part of the Retail Sales and Marketing curriculum. The presentation drove home some of the key ingredients that make communication effective. It is a big topic for this age group to tackle. In fact, I struggled with my delivery (for what seemed to be an entire unit) about a month ago, and for that reason I felt it was necessary to bring in a professional from the field.

Voelker unleashed student potential when he conducted an exercise to make it rain. The class was sectioned into three segments. Each was given a sound to make…When given a cue the one section snapped while the others clapped and stomped. It was a progressive wave of noise that demonstrated the impact of a successful message from the sender to receiver(s). In conclusion, the message is clear…communication is a skill that requires daily practice; it is like a muscle that needs exercise to ensure that the senders and receivers are disciplined enough to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

**Collins Writing Prompt – I particularly enjoyed reading one student’s reflection about the presentation. He noted Voelker’s passion for the topic and enjoyed his delivery.**