CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – February 1, 2021
Public speaking is at the top of the list of things that people fear. In fact a third of the population is estimated to experience excessive fears when speaking in front of a large audience.
Teaching and Learning Activities:
- Explain that on way to manage anxieties or fears, like public speaking, is to focus on something they can control – their breathing. The breathing exercise will help them become more aware of their bodies and focusing on their breathing will draw their attention to a rhythmic pattern that will put them at ease and make them feel more comfortable.
- Remind students that the classroom is a respectful, safe environment for trying new things. This exercise may be new or different to some and while it is OK to feel silly or weird doing it, don’t let reactions or behaviors get in the way of others.
- Using the app or a script, follow a guided breathing exercise that lasts between 3 and 5 minutes. The teacher should participate (unless reading a script) and does not need to observe students.
- Debrief with students. Ask: How did that make you feel? Do you feel any different than you did before doing the exercise? Was it weird, natural, hard? What other circumstance could you find yourself in where an exercise like this may be helpful? If using, write the name of the app on the board, or provide other suggestions of places where students can find similar guided breathing exercises.
- While still in a circle, transition to practicing their speeches by provide each student with three copies of the peer-feedback handout. Give them instructions to complete the columns when they listen to another student’s speech. “Successes” are meant to describe aspects of their speech/delivery that went well. “Suggestions” is meant to give advice, suggestions for improvement of either the delivery or writing of the speech. Explain that the task is not meant to put down the speaker but to support and encourage them to do the best that they can.
- Number the students off 1-4. These groups of 4 will be their groups for the remainder of the class. Make sure that everyone has at least 3 feedback forms. Groups should find a quiet space in the hallway or outside where they can practice. The teacher can circulate, visiting each group at least once during the session, making sure everyone is on track.
- With 10 minutes left in class, gather the students back in the classroom. All speakers should have the feedback forms that their classmates filled out. For homework they should make any changes to their speeches and continue to practice out loud/ in front of an audience.
- Before in-class speech delivery, repeat the guided breathing exercise. You do not have to do the same prep or debrief, unless students have questions or wish to talk about it.
Make It A Champion Day!