Vince Reardon

General Education

Adjunct Faculty, General Education
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Vince Reardon

The single most important thing I try to impart to my students is a passion for public speaking. Vince Reardon , Adjunct Faculty, General Education , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I was 18-years-old, I worked one summer as a reporter for a community newspaper. Seeing my writing in print was electrifying. I knew then I wanted to work in a creative profession where I or my work was seen and known.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

Mark Twain said most people know 5 percent of something and 95 percent of nothing. If there is one thing I know inside and out, it’s public speaking. I have taught Effective Speaking at The Art Institute of California—San Diego for six years and at the University of California at San Diego’s College of Extended Studies for five years. I have also been a member of Toastmasters International for 26 years and attained the top designation of Distinguished Toastmaster, which is only conferred on 3 out of 1,000 members. 

These experiences provide me with a deep understanding of why all students need to acquire this vital skill set. Effective speaking isn’t just about giving a speech, it’s also about learning to speak well when interviewing for a job, conducting a sales presentation, sharing an idea in class, negotiating a contract, facilitating a meeting, giving a pep talk, or asking for a favor.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

In my Effective Speaking class I first talk about one element of the speaking skill set, say eye contact. Then we discuss it in depth. Next, I show them how I use this element of effective speaking through an in-class demonstration. Finally, they are called upon to demonstration the skill in class. 
I also try to take my classes on a field trip to a local meeting of Toastmasters International. Here they have an opportunity of meeting real people working very hard to become effective speakers and get ahead in their career or profession.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration is important. In Effective Speaking one of the 5 speeches students must present in 11 weeks is a debate. In preparing for the debate students must team up with another classmate. Together they select a topic, decide on three key points they will debate about their topic, and then present the debate in class. Collaboration is key to the success of the debate.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

The single most important thing I try to impart to my students is a passion for public speaking. It has made a big difference in my career success and life satisfaction, and I want my students to realize what an invaluable skill set it is and how to acquire it.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

I am the author of two books. My first book is “Legacy: Passing on Cherished Values in a Values-Starved World.” I interviewed and profiled 25 distinguished Americans about the difference they made in the lives of others and how they wish to be remembered. My second book is “The Pocket Mentor: Success Tips from America’s Most Successful People.” I interviewed 101 highly successful Americans who shared one or more success tips.