Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #82
CE Offered: BACB
Public Speaking for Behavior Analysts: From Mock Interviews to Speeches
Saturday, May 27, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall A-C
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Matthew M Laske (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Aimee Giles, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium includes three talks that demonstrate the effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) and awareness training (AT) in teaching public speaking skills and reducing vocal verbal disfluencies. Laske will share experimental findings of an evaluation of BST and AT on public speaking performance and speech disfluencies. Perrin will describe the results of an experiment evaluating the effects of AT on speech disfluencies during asynchronous speeches. Last, Giles will present the results of an experiment evaluating the effects of AT on speech disfluencies during mock interviews.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): interview skills, public speaking
Target Audience: Presentations during this symposium will be delivered at an intermediate instruction level.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Discuss how BST can be applied to train public speaking performance, (2) Describe how video-based AT procedures can be used to reduce speech disfluencies, (3) Describe how in-vivo AT procedures can be used to reduce speech disfluencies, (4) Explain how AT procedures can be applied to reducing speech disfluencies in both speech delivery and interviews.
Um, So, Like… How Do We Train Public Speaking?
MATTHEW M LASKE (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas), J Turner Braren (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Public speaking is a relevant skill for career advancement. Despite the importance of public speaking, it is the most common social phobia reported by Americans. Because of the discomfort it may cause and the potential impact on careers, identifying ways to teach effective public speaking is worthwhile. The current study sought to address this issue by using a multiple-baseline design across behaviors to evaluate the effects of behavioral skills training (BST) in a Zoom environment on public speaking behaviors. Following the BST intervention, awareness training (AT) was added to target speech disfluencies. BST was effective in teaching three sets of public speaking behaviors. AT was effective at reducing rates of speech disfluencies. Participants' self-ratings of effectiveness increased and reported anxiety decreased following the intervention. Additionally, an external expert in communications rated the participants as more effective speakers. Implications of these findings for future behavior-analytic research on public speaking will be discussed.
Effects of Asynchronous Awareness Training on Public Speaking Speech Disfluencies
CHRISTOPHER J. PERRIN (Bancroft), Jonathon Metz (Bancroft), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft)
Abstract: Although effective communication is an important skill for many professions, people often emit speech disfluencies when speaking publicly. Recent research has demonstrated that simplified habit reversal training, consisting only of awareness training, is effective at reducing public speaking speech disfluencies (e.g., Montes et al. 2019; 2020; Ortiz et al. 2022; Spieler & Miltenberger, 2017). Although awareness training requires less resources than other forms of habit reversal, awareness training has been delivered in a one-on-one format which may reduce practicality for widespread adoption. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of asynchronous awareness training with clinicians from a large not-for-profit organization. To assess rates of speech disfluencies, each participant met remotely with an experimenter and delivered unrehearsed speeches. Following baseline, participants completed a computer-based training that described common speech disfluencies and provided opportunities to practice detecting speech disfluencies in recordings. Then participants took an online quiz during which they scored the frequency of disfluencies in recorded speeches. During post-training speeches, all participants' rates of speech disfluencies decreased relative to baseline. In addition, results of a questionnaire indicated high acceptability ratings and all participants indicated a preference for asynchronous to synchronous training.
Awareness Training for Decreasing Speech Disfluencies During Job Interviews
AIMEE GILES (University of South Wales), Edward Wong (University of South Wales), Saloni Sahu (University of South Wales)
Abstract: Performance during job interviews can be a critical factor in obtaining employment for recent university graduates. During a job interview, it is important to convey ideas and answer questions fluently and coherently. One strategy that is effective at decreasing speech disfluencies for college students during short speeches is awareness training. The present study used a concurrent multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate the effects of awareness training on speech disfluencies for five university students or recent graduates. All sessions were conducted remotely using video conferencing software and speech disfluencies were measured during mock job interviews. Components of awareness training included response detection, video detection, and in-vivo detection. Awareness training decreased targeted speech disfluencies for all participants without requiring booster sessions. For some participants, untargeted speech disfluencies also decreased following awareness training. Participants reported that they felt more confidant and comfortable speaking following awareness training.



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