About the department

We specialize in imparting public speaking skills. We consider their use to be an interpersonal act aiming to allow people to pursue common objectives by means of communication and speech.

Our educational portfolio focuses on

  • Public speaking training as civic education
    We promote the citizens' capacity for democracy. We enable and encourage them to participate in political life.
  • Public speaking training as personality development
    We support personal development: people discover and unleash their communicative potential.
  • Public speaking training as vocational education and training
    We impart key vocational skills: staff members learn to meet communication requirements at their workplace in accordance with their specific role and the situation.



Eva Wessela M.A., Head of Department
DGSS speech teacher, qualified supervisor
Degree in speech and speech teaching, studies of applied linguistics, literature and educational psychology at the University of Saarland
Contact: 0049 6873 662-440; wessela(at)eao-otzenhausen.de

Rebecca Dahl M.A., Director of Studies
Degree in speech, musicology and psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau
Contact: 0049 6873 662-449; dahl(at)eao-otzenhausen.de

Nicola Speer, Director of Studies
Degree in speech, speech teaching and phonetics at the University of Halle-Wittenberg
Postgraduate degree in Clinical Speech Studies
Contact: 0049 6873 662-449; speer(at)eao-otzenhausen.de

Event formats

Civic education

Public Speaking plus

At our seminars for young adults we combine the concept of public speaking skills and socio-political content.

The seminars offer the participants the opportunity to intensively study topical issues and questions with a view to society, politics and the economy. In this context we attach importance both to deepening and extending existing knowledge and to increasing awareness of overall contexts.

At the same time, the seminars permit participants to find a democratic attitude: they experience and deal with a diversity of opinions, controversy, compromise and disagreement, for example, to solve problems with others constructively, develop possible solutions through argumentation or present opinions and facts in an audience- and target-oriented way.

Our working methods stand out for their methodological diversity and for being action- and resource-oriented. The seminars strengthen the participants' personalities and their civic awareness and encourage and enable young people to participate in political life.

Seminars and workshops for NGOs, associations and organizations
We develop seminars and workshops for NGOs, associations and organizations. In the seminars we impart the public speaking skills the participants need to articulate and emphasize their respective interests and concerns effectively in public. The seminars vitalize and strengthen civil society.

Personality development

Individual coaching for speakers

This offer is directed at participants who often speak in front of an audience in the fields of politics, the economy, the media, education and civil society (address, lecture, presentation). Our individual coaching focuses on the development of the participant's individual potential as a speaker: language, way of speaking, body language, use of media, situation management. We combine rhetorical analysis with training units and individual feedback (video); we raise awareness of specific situations and their special communicative requirements on different occasions, so that the desired results are achieved: motivating listeners to take action, retaining information, producing new ideas, defending their cause in a credible and convincing way.

Basic and continuing vocational education and training

Public administration
Service orientation is an essential attitude expressed through contact and dialogue with the citizens. It includes, for example, the ability to discuss topics in a planned and target-oriented way and to shape contacts with citizens proactively and professionally. We develop seminars for regional administration offices and communities that further develop their trainees' and staff's communication skills for this field.

Staff working for charities that provide general nursing and elder care face very different situations and have a wide range of communication needs in their everyday working lives: communication with residents, nursing staff, family members, clients or communication with employees, colleagues and superiors.
The objective of our seminars is to develop and strengthen professional communication skills. 

Refining the communication skills of trainees and students pursuing dual courses of studies is not a task that young staff members should have to manage on their own. Allowing them to develop their full potential in order to retain them as employees with the company once their training has concluded is not a luxury. Instead, in view of the demographic change and the lack of skilled workers, companies have no other choice. Communication skills are key competencies that allow staff members to demonstrate their expertise in their daily interaction with colleagues, in interdisciplinary projects and in the external communication with customers and clients. We work closely with companies when designing and conducting our seminars.

The tasks performed by the decision-making staff at schools include managing conferences and meetings. This involves communicative requirements such as

  • chairing conferences/meetings in line with the requirements of the respective situation
  • acting professionally and with self-assurance and
  • leading discussions in a process- and results-oriented manner

Our seminars teach the skills required for these contexts.

Special communication situations

Tourist guides
Tourist guides decisively shape a visitor's image of a city, region or cultural site. They represent the place and are image-building factors when it comes to arousing curiosity and interest in the region and to motivating guests to stay, return and talk about their experiences.

Apart from having extensive knowledge of the region, its culture, history and places of interests, tourist guides must be able to impart their knowledge to visitors in a structured, understandable and interesting way that is suited to the situation. They therefore not only provide information, but at the same time are moderators, entertainers and storytellers, etc.

This varied and complex profile requires sophisticated communication skills and the ability to deal with various situations and visitors.

Representation purposes
"Regents" such as wine queens give their product, region or city a face. They are image-building ambassadors, representatives and "advertising figures". In this context knowledge, charm and a self-assured demeanour are as important as a full-blown rhetorical repertoire. Our seminars prepare candidates and reigning queens for the public-speaking aspects of their appearances at trade fairs, receptions and festivities.  

School-leaving examinations
The oral school-leaving examinations require candidates to present both their knowledge and their rhetorical skills (understanding questions properly, response strategies, etc.). Our seminars focus on this presentation and include rhetorical tips, question-and-answer strategies and tips for appearing confident in the examination situation. Simulations of examination situations aim to familiarize the participants with the procedure and particularities of the situation and, in so doing, successfully master this exceptional examination situation.

Cooperation partners

Publications and downloads

Download: Aufsatz "Die englische Debatte", Eva Wessela M.A.,

Download: Flyer "Gerecht geht anders"

Download: Broschüre "Mündigkeit durch Mündlichkeit"


Eva Wessela, 2014
"Europäer werden durch die Erfahrung Europäer zu sein - Ein Einblick in die interkulturelle europapolitische Bildungsarbeit der Europäischen Akademie Otzenhausen"
In: Olivier Mentz, Raja Herold (Hg.), Gibt es ein Wir? Reflexionen zu einer europäischen Identität, erschienen in der Reihe „Europa lernen - Perspektiven für eine Didaktik europäischer Kulturstudien“

Rebecca Thömmes, 2011
So stimmt es mit der Stimme: Übungen zur Sprech-und Stimmbildung für Lehrer

Rebecca Thömmes, 2011
"Zugänge zur politischen Bildung mittels rhetorischer und ästhetischer Kommunikation"
In: Die Redner, Kunst der Demokratie – Das Handbuch

Hans-Dieter Metz, Eva Wessela, 2010
"Arno Krause, Portrait eines Europäers"

Jürgen Kerwer, Hannes Petrischak, Lothar Scholz, Eva Wessela, (eds.), 2009
"Nachhaltigkeit: Ein Thema für Schule und Unterricht"

Eva Wessela, 2009
"Vom Wissen zum Handeln – Die didaktischen Module"
In: Kerwer (ed), 2009

Eva Wessela, 2008
"Was heißt eigentlich „maßgeschneidert“? Anforderungen an Trainer, Konzept, Durchführung"
In: Heilmann/Lepschy, 2008, Rhetorische Prozesse

Eva Wessela, 2000, unveröffentlicht
"Technische Innovationen und Kommunikation – Multipoint Videokonferenzen"
Ein Trainingskonzept

Eva Wessela, 1999, unpublished
"Kommunikative Kompetenz als Voraussetzung für die erfolgreiche Umsetzung neuer Arbeitsstrukturen"

Hellmut  Geißner,  Albert Herbig, Eva Wessela, (eds.), 1999
"Wirtschaftskommunikation in Europa"

Albert Herbig/Eva Wessela, 1999
"Qualitätsmanagement und interne Unternehmenskommunikation"
In: Geißner, Herbig, Wessela, (eds.), 1999

Eva Wessela, 1998
"Kunst im Bildungsprozess"
In: Impulse für Europa, 1998

Hellmut Geißner, Albert Herbig, Raimund Dahmen, (eds.), 1995
"Europäische Versammlungskultur"

Raimund Dahmen, Albert Herbig, Eva Wessela, (eds.), 1993
"Rhetorik für Europa"

Katrin Dahmen, 1993
"Zur Dimension des realen politischen Handelns in der rhetorischen Kommunikation"

Katrin Dahmen, Eva Wessela, 1989
"Miteinandersprechen – Zur Didaktik und Methodik der Gesprächserziehung mit jungen Erwachsenen"

Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen gGmbH
Eva Wessela M.A.
Europahausstraße 35
66620 Nonnweiler
Tel.: 0049 6873 662-440
Fax: 0049 6873 662-350
eMail: wessela(at)eao-otzenhausen.de