Public speaking, and the confidence to get up and talk to peers or strangers, is an important life skill for young adults, as presentations are now an important part of most classroom and extra-curricular curriculum, but they don’t end at high school graduation.
Undergraduate and postgraduate HE courses, internships and networking events often require public speaking skills and most job interviews require the ability to gather your thoughts and speak clearly in a high-pressure situation. Therefore, building confidence in public speaking is an important life skill for young adults and something that in Globeducate schools, we create diverse opportunities for development including: Model United Nations, Sixth Form leadership Summit, WWF mock summits and Globeducate Debates.
Public speaking for young leaders is generally grouped into two categories based on their intended purpose: informative and persuasive.
Informative speaking is used to share knowledge of a subject with an audience. For example, in a classroom situation, what CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) an IB student did in their summer holidays or what a student learnt from their Duke of Edinburgh expedition or Eco-Schools summit. Informative speaking is a common part of many jobs and other everyday activities.
The power of being able to speak persuasively is important in many settings. For example, a student may want to put themselves forward for Class Rep or Eco-Schools Rep or they might be asked to convince a university admissions tutor that they are going to make a valuable contribution to a particular study group. Whether public speaking is something they do every day or just a few times a year, being able to persuade others is a challenging task and a highly valuable skill. If they develop the skill to persuade, it can be personally and professionally rewarding.
Globeducate Model United Nations Competition
A popular event on the Globeducate calendar that helps some of our students to develop public speaking skills is the Model United Nations (MUN) annual competition, taking place this year from the 23rd to the 26th of March and hosted by one of our prestigious international schools in France, ISN Nice. The theme for this conference is Sustainable Consumption in the 21st Century and around 20 schools and 70 students will take part.
The Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate students about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations agenda. The event focuses on developing skills such as public speaking, group communication, research, policy analysis, active listening, negotiating, conflict resolution, parliamentary procedure, note-taking, writing, and editing. The most central skill developed at these conferences is public speaking, as students play the role of ambassadors of another country. MUN teaches students that when communicating they should allow their personality come through and to be themselves.
Students who participate in MUN conferences develop higher self-confidence, social skills, leadership skills, and empathy. Students who show interest in MUN are described as empathetic global citizens who show interest and empathy for current world events and are willing to step in to make a difference. The MUN is a perfect opportunity for Globeducate students to improve and develop their public speaking and communication skills.
Some tips for confident public speaking:
Gain control of nerves.
Sweaty palms, shaky hands or legs and butterflies in the stomach, or a wobbly voice, are all completely normal! Learning breathing techniques and voice projection techniques will help, as will talking positively to yourself inside your head – giving yourself positive affirmations.
Keep concise notes.
Get to know your topic really well so that instead of trying to read from a script or constantly check facts and figures, some simple prompt notes will be enough to allow you to make eye contact and to engage with your audience.
Practice makes perfect.
Practise making speeches out loud, either in front of a mirror or with a small audience of friends or family. This will give you a sense of timing. When practising, experiment with different hand gestures, posture, tone of voice and eye contact to make presenting more comfortable. Mock interviews and getting involved in regular public speaking opportunities helps to make the process feel more natural and comfortable.