Public Speaking: A Pep Talk for Students

Posted by Cassandra Dinkel on 10/17/18 11:15 AM

You begin to walk to the front of the classroom, feeling the eyes of your classmates watching you. You walk slowly, one step at a time, palms sweating, heart rate quickening. But then you pause. You take a look at your One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest poster with its beautiful, vibrant colors and remember that you spent at least an hour and a half practicing in preparation for this presentation. You turn to the class, feeling confident, a smile spreading across your face and feel not so nervous anymore.

 

Have you experienced a similar situation with public speaking? 

 

Even though each time you may dread walking to the front of the class, speaking in front of your peers, these small moments can prepare you for future success. Even for adults, public speaking can be challenging. Some benefits of public speaking include increasing confidence, improved writing, speaking, and listening skills, as well as developing leadership abilities.

 

Below are three reasons, benefits, and overall purposes of public speaking. Set yourself up for success by reminding yourself of these key factors of public speaking before your next presentation...

 

1. Public Speaking Informs

Be Informed sign with clouds and sky background

 

Often, public speaking is a way to tell others about important information. For instance, in a school, there may be public announcements to tell the students and faculty about upcoming events or essential information. Speaking to an audience is a quick and effective way to spread messages, even if they seem trivial.

 

2. Public Speaking Entertains

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Public speaking includes plays, television, comedy, and multiple other forms of communication. Watching Broadway shows like Wicked or your favorite Netflix shows like Riverdale and Game of Thrones are forms of public speaking. For each performance of a play or show, the cast stands in front of a large group of people and conveys the story using emotion, voice, and body language. Starting with small classroom presentations is the perfect first step to greater and more significant public speaking opportunities.

 

3. Public Speaking Accomplishes and Creates Change

Hand with marker writing We Believe in Making a Difference

 

Without public speaking, it would be harder to spread messages for change. The greatest minds and people were able to make positive, everlasting change through oral communication. Leaders and activists have stood in front of a crowd and ended up inspiring the entire world through powerful word choice. Such as Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered his "I Have a Dream," speech to hundreds of thousands, or Malala Yousafzai, who at 16 years old, addressed the United Nations fighting for girls' rights to education.

 

With practice and confidence, you are sure to improve so that one day, you can be the one who is making changes in the world!

 

Cassandra Dinkel is an English Teacher, Skills and Academic Support Teacher, and 11th Grade Dean at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, MA. 

Topics: Student Skill Building, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, Multiple Intelligences