3 Ways High School Students Can Improve Their Public Speaking Skills

Public speaking is often a challenging aspect of academia for many students. While impossible to avoid, public speaking can be a source of anxiety for high schoolers. Luckily, there are tactics students can use to refine their public speaking abilities. Ways high school students can improve their public speaking skills include participating in extracurricular activities, practicing during classes, and learning from others.

Looking to upgrade your public speaking skills this semester? Keep reading to learn three ways high school students can improve their public speaking skills.

Tip #1 to improve your public speaking skills: join related extracurricular groups

One of the best ways to improve your public speaking skills is to practice public speaking. Research the extracurricular activities your school offers, and find ways to get involved. High schools tend to have various activities that can greatly improve your public speaking skills, including:

  • Mock trial

  • Speech or debate team

  • Student council

  • Theatre club.  

Joining a school-sponsored organization that encourages a fair amount of speaking in front of others can not only improve your confidence, but it will also enhance your college admissions resume. Involvement in organizations such as these allows you to improve your public speaking confidence in a capacity where you’re most comfortable.

[RELATED: How to Maximize Your High School Extracurriculars]

Tip #2 to improve your public speaking skills: increase your class participation

If public speaking is a source of stress for you, challenge yourself to participate more in your classes. This is a simple tactic to improve your public speaking confidence. Raise your hand to answer questions out loud in front of your classmates, and practice articulating your thoughts about your coursework.

Another way to improve your skills is to take advantage of assignments that prompt speaking in front of the class. When given the option, for example, to write a paper or give an oral presentation, take this opportunity to build your confidence by presenting in front of your classmates. Spend time preparing your presentation and rehearse beforehand—both in front of friends and family and in the space you’ll be presenting, if possible. Show yourself that if you practice and put your mind to it, public speaking doesn’t have to be intimidating.

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Tip #3 to improve your public speaking skills: observe other speakers’ techniques

In addition to practicing your public speaking skills, take the time to research other speakers’ successful techniques. This could involve watching TED Talks and noting the mannerisms that engage you as a listener. It can also be helpful to watch your classmates during class or extracurricular presentations. Note how they organize their speeches, the level of eye contact they make, and how they involve the audience in the presentation. Don’t be afraid to ask them what techniques have worked to build their public speaking confidence, and consider incorporating those strategies into your routine.

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Public speaking can be intimidating. Use your time in high school to build your confidence and improve your skills through school-sponsored organizations, classroom participation, and observing your peers. Additionally, public speaking tutoring can provide you with personally tailored strategies to improve your public speaking skills. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, and strive to find tactics to excel.


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