Speaking in front of an audience can be a frightening experience for a middle school student. Improving their public speaking skills might even be more challenging than teaching them the difficult content of your apprenticeship. Don’t panic! There are plenty of tools, like this handout, you can utilize that will help your students learn know more about how to be a quality public speaker.
An easy way to put the characteristics of excellent public speaking into student-friendly language is to use the acronym, SPEAK:
S tand up straight
P roject your voice
E ye contact
A rms by your side
K iller confidence!
In the SPEAK acronym, the first items are rather self explanatory and can be perfected through discipline and repetition. The key to great public speakers is the last item, KILLER CONFIDENCE, and the way to instill this in apprentices is to reassure them of their knowledge and hard work, flood them with compliments when they speak well, and attempt to dispel any worries they are experiencing.
With plenty of practice, adequate coaching, and support from the teachers, your students will shine during their WOW!