Building Public Speaking Skills
Blog post for staff members
A key skill which Be Strong Online Ambassadors will need in their role is public speaking. Help your team develop their skills with our tips below!
There are a few key things to remember when helping the Be Strong Online Ambassadors improve their public speaking techniques. Firstly it might be their first time public speaking, so they could be nervous to start off with. People are more likely to speak up if they know everyone, so if your Ambassadors are new to each other it might be a good plan to use ice breakers to ease them in before getting them to do longer speeches. If you have a student that is particularly nervous then do a group activity like pulling silly faces or playing a game, so they feel less embarrassed and are more likely to join in.
To run Be Strong Online sessions, your team will need to build their public speaking skills and gain confidence talking in front of other students. Here are some top tips to help your Be Strong Online Ambassador team reach their full potential.
Remember that there are different types of public speaking, it is not just all formal speeches. Allow your Be Strong Online Ambassadors to convey their message in different ways if they want to: rap and comedy are also useful ways of getting their message across. Remind them that it is not the length of the speeches that matters – it is about getting your point across clearly and concisely.
Here are a few activities that you might like to consider to help improve your Be Strong Online Ambassadors’ public speaking skills:
If I went to Mars…
- Get your group into a circle.
- First person begins: “My name is ….. If I went to Mars, I would take (an object beginning with the first letter of their name)” E.g. “My name is Anna, if I went to Mars I would take an apple”
- Next person in circle then says “my name is…. If I went to Mars, I would take (1st person’s name and object) and (their object) E.g. “My name is Sarah, if I went to Mars I would take Anna’s apple and a snake”
- Third person continues.
- Person is ‘out’ if they either forget name or object, or make a mistake in recalling name or object.
- Game is over when there is only one person left (or after a certain amount of time)
2 Truths 1 Lie
- Each person needs to come up with 2 truths and 1 lie about themselves, but they shouldn’t tell anyone what the lie is until the end.
- You go round in a circle and each person in turn tells the group their two truths and one lie, they do NOT say which is the lie and which are the truths
- The object of the game is for the rest of the group to decide which one is the lie, once the group have decided then they tell everyone what the lie was.
- Get a volunteer from the group to come to the front of the room.
- Get them to speak for 30 seconds on a topic that you give them
- The only rules are not to hesitate and speak passionately about the topic
- The topic of the speech should be silly E.g. Cheese, Socks, Forks, etc.
- Ask your Be Strong Online Ambassadors what their idea of public speaking is. Get them to give you examples of good public speakers. They can come up with anyone as long as they are able to justify the reason why that person is a good public speaker.
- Use examples of speeches to show the different types of public speaking there are. See below for our suggestions
- Use videos of good speeches and get them to note the good points, or alternatively get them to note the good points of their peer’s speeches.
Examples of speeches
Below are a selection of speeches that can be used as examples of public speaking. Some are good examples that demonstrate different considerations for public speaking, others are less successful as speeches but may still provide interesting talking points.
- Martin Luther King, ‘I have a dream’
- Barack Obama, ‘Yes we can’
- George The Poet, ‘Go Home’ – look for tone, style, facial expressions
- Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) at BET Awards – how does he elicit an emotional response from his audience? Look at his passion when he speaks, his pacing, think of the timing and location of the speech
- Will Ferrell awards acceptance speech – example of humour
- Shia LaBeouf, ‘Just Do It’ – movement, volume
Finally, remind Be Strong Online Ambassadors that they are not expected to be experts – it is all about learning. Remember to ask their opinions on activities that they might like to do in order to feel more confident. The key thing to remember though is to get them talking the more practice they have the better they will become!
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