Public Speaking Activities in High School

Being able to speak comfortably in a public setting is an essential skill for success in many fields, including business and education. High school teachers can help their students hone their public speaking skills by offering various opportunities for students to speak to the class. There are several types of public speaking activities that will give students the speaking skills they may need after graduation.

1.      Debate

High school students can engage in a classroom debate regardless of the subject. Teachers can structure debates that are individual versus individual or small group versus small group. Students involved in the debates must research their given topic and present their side to the rest of the class. Students should stand in front of the classroom and present their side for at least five to 10 minutes. After each side has presented its stance, both sides have a chance to rebut. Then, students in the rest of the class can ask questions.

2.      Oral Presentations

Students can present information to the class through the form of research papers, creative products or group projects. Students who work on a long-term project such as a paper can present their findings to the class in an informal setting. They may read sections of their paper or discuss the steps they took to complete their research. Students who create material, such as a podcast, a poster or a slide show presentation, should be given time to present their work to the class.

3.      Performances

Students can perform for their classmates in the form of a play or creative script. Teachers can assign students roles from a play and have them perform a scene to the class. Even though drama performances are most often seen in English classes, other high school classes can use student performances to enrich students’ learning. For example, students could reenact a moment in history or demonstrate how molecules bond in chemistry. Students can write their own scripts to perform, and teachers may assign students into groups to present.

4.      Student Teaching

Teachers can give students an opportunity to improve their public speaking ability while learning more about a particular topic simply by having students teach part of a lesson to the class. Students can work individually or in groups to research an assigned section of a textbook chapter or predetermined topic. Then, students should prepare materials to give to the class and take time to actually teach a lesson. Not only will students learn more about the subject they are teaching to the class, but they will also get a chance to bolster their speaking skills.

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