Summer Series: Public Speaking

Published On: June 26th, 2023 | Categories: In The Classroom |


With campus rather quiet during the summer, we thought we would look back this week at a few learning experiences from the 2022-23 school year with our Summer Series blog posts.


Let’s talk about Public Speaking!


Chapel Talks

Eighth graders give a speech to the entire school each week during the span of months from January to April. These seven to ten minute speeches are a capstone project for every eighth grader and are considered to be a major milestone in the Powhatan School experience. This tradition enhances confidence and self-esteem, promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and encourages personal growth and development. We see public speaking as a valuable skill that can benefit young people in their future careers, making it an essential skill for all students to learn. This doesn’t happen overnight, but is threaded throughout the experience at Powhatan School.

Kindergarten Author Study:

It is no coincidence that the kindergarten author study presentations coincide with the beginning of eighth grade Chapel Talks each January. The Author Study project sets Kindergarteners on the path to public speaking success at an early age. Through class literature study and free reading at home, kindergarten students are exposed to a number of different authors and genres. Each kindergartener selects an author, gathers biographical information about the author, and shares a presentation with the class. These oral presentations can last between two to four minutes and are a milestone in the kindergarten experience at Powhatan. “Some make posters as visual aids, some will dress up as a character from their favorite book, and it is fun to see the different types of creative presentations the students come up with,” says Mrs. Lucas, a kindergarten teacher.


Building Confidence:

Not to be overlooked is the confidence that is instilled in these young learners when they complete their Author Study presentation. “It’s a huge accomplishment and you can see the self confidence growing as they overcome this challenge,” continues Mrs. Lucas.

“Research tells us that more than 80% of Americans indicate that speaking in public is their number one fear in life,” continues Mrs. Lucas. “So for these students to become comfortable with getting up in front of a group at such a young age is a massive boost to their self-confidence in school and life. Obviously you have to practice and practice and practice, but over time it really builds their confidence. It’s extremely empowering.”

Innovation during the Pandemic: Chapel Talks

An ongoing theme throughout the pandemic was the way Powhatan School continued to provide the key components of the Powhatan experience by leveraging technology. Eighth grade Chapel Talks were a perfect example of the ways our faculty found creative solutions to overcome obstacles in delivering a high quality education and highlighting the important aspects of our program that we value most.


We learn not for school but for LIFE.

Public speaking is an essential skill that plays a significant role in a person’s personal and professional life. This is especially true for young individuals who are just starting to build their futures. Public speaking enables individuals to effectively communicate their thoughts, ideas, and opinions to others. In this essay, we will discuss the benefits of learning public speaking at a young age and why it is crucial for young individuals to develop this skill.

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First and foremost, public speaking enhances one’s confidence and self-esteem. It allows individuals to express themselves freely and engage in meaningful conversations with others. Students who learn public speaking at a young age are better equipped to handle situations that require them to stand up and speak in front of others. This can include presentations in class, job interviews, and social events. By building their confidence in public speaking, young people can become more comfortable in these situations, which can lead to improved performance and success.

Public speaking helps young people to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. When preparing a speech or presentation, individuals must consider various perspectives and arguments. This requires critical thinking, as speakers must be able to articulate their ideas effectively and address potential counterarguments. Furthermore, public speaking requires individuals to think on their feet, as they may be faced with unexpected questions or challenges during their presentations. This helps young people to develop problem-solving skills, as they must be able to adapt and find creative solutions to overcome obstacles.

Another benefit of public speaking is that it promotes personal growth and development. Young individuals who learn public speaking at a young age have the opportunity to explore their interests and passions. Through public speaking, they can learn to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively, which can help them to discover new opportunities and grow as individuals. Additionally, public speaking provides young people with a platform to share their experiences and insights, which can inspire and motivate others.

Finally, public speaking is a valuable skill that can benefit young people in their future careers. Many jobs, particularly in leadership positions, require effective communication and the ability to articulate ideas and opinions to others. Public speaking can help young individuals to develop these skills, making them more competitive in the job market. Furthermore, public speaking can help young people to build their professional network by allowing them to connect with others and engage in meaningful conversations.

Learning public speaking at a young age offers numerous benefits for young individuals. It enhances confidence and self-esteem, promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and encourages personal growth and development. Additionally, public speaking is a valuable skill that can benefit young people in their future careers, making it an essential skill for all young individuals to learn.