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Public Speaking/Debating

(not currently running , express your interest through this link)

Teacher – Saani Bennetts

Ages 11+ years

Being able to speak confidently in public is a life skill that is so important in today’s world and a skill that is useful in almost any job or life situation. Public speaking is not the same as being chatty, talkative or being an extrovert. It’s about learning to speak powerfully, concisely and being able to deliver communication confidently, persuasively and within a structure suited to the setting one is in.

Our public speaking class is going to be a lot of fun. We learn through games, activities and practical exercises and we’ll be working towards students delivering a short speech to a supportive audience either as individuals or in pairs at the end of the term. Public speaking is for everyone – in our class, students will be supported to develop their skills but no-one will be made to do anything they’re not comfortable with.

Students who are already naturally confident will learn to add structure to their communication and take their skills to a new level. Students who are more hesitant with speaking in public will be guided in a caring environment to find a new confidence through developing their innate strengths.

In term 3 we will focus on Public Speaking as a vital pre-cursor to Debating and the skills covered in the Public Speaking component are designed to help students be prepared for Debating. Skills we will cover include:

  • Being able to speak in front of others using good eye contact, expression, body language and other habits of great speakers
  • How to start and end a talk powerfully
  • How to speak persuasively to others and deliver your message in a way that invites support
  • How to use your natural talents and personality as a speaker
  • Crafting a short talk or presentation within a range of structures or situations
  • How to write a speech using the hamburger technique – learning the structure of introduction, main points, examples and conclusion (this technique is useful not only in formal talks or presentations but also in situations such as job interviews when one is on the spot. It’s also a great foundational skill for things like essay writing).
  • How to use palm cards effectively
  • How to become comfortable or confident interacting with an audience
  • Basic research and reasoning skills – being able to support your message with research or examples
  • Accepting and giving feedback in a caring, supportive way
  • How to handle nerves

Debating is comprised of three components – Manner (the way a person speaks), Matter (the content of what they say) and Method (how a debating team works together). Public Speaking/Debating class in term 2 will teach Manner and a range of skills relating to Matter. In term 3, we add the ‘Matter’ skills specific to debating and we learn about Method, as well as applying our ‘Manner’ skills to a formal debate.

Being comfortable or at least feeling capable of speaking in front of an audience, whether big or small, in formal or informal situations, is really a gift that we can give students, as it’s something that will prove invaluable in so many aspects of their lives.