Preparing Young People for Public Speaking

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When asked, adults often mention that developing strong public speaking skills was the most important skill that they gained from being involved as a young person in a service organization. Engaging youth as spokespeople for your event or your organization is a great way to encourage young people within your organization to practice their public speaking skills and promote the benefits of youth service to the media. To support this young person’s involvement as a spokesperson and to insure that their public speaking experience is a positive one, YSA has compiled a variety of resources that you can use to educate your youth spokesperson about their role in your organization as well as provide them advice about how to speak clearly and overcome the nerves that they often experience when speaking in public. Many of these resources come from our National Youth Service Day National Partners, and we encourage you to contact them directly for more information about their materials. Michigan 4-H – The Communications Toolkit: The Communications Toolkit is designed for individuals who work with young people ages 12 and up and who want fun, easy and meaningful communication activities to use with clubs, classrooms, camps, after-school programs and other settings where kids come together. In the toolkit you will find background information for group leaders, skill sheets with tips and basic information, group icebreakers, hands-on activities, handouts and other resources that will help kids build on their skills in several key areas. http://www.msue.msu. edu/cyf/youth/toolkit.html#Written Houghton Mifflin’s Communication Resource Center for Students: They have a great set of Public Speaking quizzes that could aid in preparing your young person for their media relations role. www. YMCA - California YMCA Youth & Government: howto_speak.shtml Youth Ambassadors for Peace: Youth Leadership Institute: Based out of San Francisco, YLI offers workshops and information on Public Policy and Advocacy. Youth Activism Project: They have a great resource list of books and other publications that infuse youth into community. Student PIRGS: Contact your Student PIRG group in their state/community a part of their work is to go through public speaking trainings, and someone may be willing to help train your youth representatives.

There is no better way to promote how valuable youth are to your organization and your service project than by encouraging them to speak up when approached by the press. With a little preparation, their public speaking experiences will enhance their confidence and will create a youth with a passion for promoting the importance of youth voice within your organization and across America.

Youth Service America 1101 15th Street, NW Suite 200 Washington, DC 20005 T: 202.296.2992 F: 202.296.4030

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Description: Public Speaking isn’t easy for anyone, but it can be especially hard on people trying to do it for the first time at a young age. If you’ve tried preparing for a speech by yourself and found that you can’t seem to improve, this document contains a number of resources and helpful places that will help improve public speaking. Many of the organizations in the document are national or may be specifically within your region.
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