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Pandemic Presentations: The Impact of Masks on Speech Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Suggested Best Practices for the Communication Center

Kristen Foltz, Riley Robertson


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states and cities enacted mask mandates requiring masks be worn indoors. As a result, those universities opting to open their doors to in person learning in the 2020-2021 academic year possibly required students to wear masks in the classroom. This study explores the impact of mask wearing on undergraduate speech students who gave presentations or speeches during the pandemic and the implications for communication centers serving those students. Specifically, participants were asked about their self-perceived confidence and satisfaction with the masked presentation as well as whether they changed the content or delivery due to the mask. Most students indicated little to no impact on their confidence or satisfaction as a result of wearing a mask. However, some participants still modified the content of their presentations and a majority indicated they made modifications to their delivery. These results suggests communication centers should focus on providing students with strategies to help them with their delivery while giving an in person presentation while masked.


Covid-19; masks; undergraduate; public speaking; communication center

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Communication Center Journal