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Corporate Speech Pathology: New Beginnings

Corporate Speech Pathology: New Beginnings
Janet Y. Skotko, M.Ed, CCC-SLP
December 15, 2003

Corporate Affiliation: The Voice Institute

The ASHA Convention in 2002 was unique. For the first time ever, during that convention, a group of ''Corporate Speech Pathologists'' were offered space to present on this new specialty within the profession. Even though the meeting was not in the formal program schedule, a ''statement of interest'' was apparent as the room filled to capacity.

Audience members reported looking forward to an interesting alternative, while not wanting to exit their profession. Some spoke of burn-out, some reflected on the daily dreaded unnecessary paperwork, many mentioned professional frustration, substantial and unmanageable caseload numbers, and an overwhelming interest in applying their skills, perhaps in a new and different way.

What is Corporate Speech Pathology (CSP)?

CSP provides services to entire companies or to small groups within companies, individual employees, or seminars for corporate consumers, based on their unique presentation and communication needs.

CSP services are identified and offered to enhance training, help achieve corporate goals, advance the corporate image, improve and maximize professional communication ability, increase sales and other business goals. Some CSP services may seem like traditional SLP offerings, for example; articulation or voice, but their application in the corporate environment is non-traditional. CSP services may include; public speaking, voice aesthetics, listening skills, interviewing, or accent and dialect reduction. Often, SLPs who are CSP providers will specialize in particular services, while others offer a large menu of CSP services.

The language and terms used in CSP must be changed for the SLP service provider to communicate effectively and efficiently with the business world. For example, we do not use the word 'therapy' when applying SLP skills to the corporate world in the context described above. Rather, ''consulting,'' ''coaching,'' or ''training'' are the preferred terms, messages and images. Rarely is the term ''disorder'' applied to the corporate status quo. Rather, more commonly, one hears descriptions such as ''problem areas'' or ''personnel performance,'' or ''departmental performance.''

Katie Schwartz, SLP, Corporate Speech Pathologist and CORSPAN founder (www.BusinessSpeechImprovement.com) describes CSP as ''an exciting avenue for creative speech pathologists willing to take a risk. The variety is endless, depending on what an SLP is willing to do.''

Janet Y. Skotko, M.Ed, CCC-SLP

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