Tony Bock/Torstar News Service


Heather McEachern introduces Seneca College corporate communications classmates yesterday as they conduct a public-speaking class on a GO Train. The exercise was aimed at helping students speak to groups of strangers while staying on topic with their speeches.

Lessons on how to discourage unwanted conversation greeted westbound GO train passengers yesterday.

Corporate communications students from Seneca College were delivering five-minute public speeches in a deliberately unpredictable setting.

Sometimes the conductor interrupted with a station announcement. Sometimes passengers tried to squeeze past in the narrow aisle. Sometimes the train jolted, nearly knocking a speaker off his — or usually her — feet.

The 17 speakers were accompanied by professor David Turnbull, who added to the chaos by snapping photos of the presentations.

"In public relations," Katie Altay explained of the exercise, "no matter what’s thrown at you, you have to stay on point."

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