Can Public Speaking be taught?

The thought of public speaking is terrifying to many people. However, most of them will need to take a course at some point in their academic careers, which leads educators and administrators to wonder if this skill is one that can be taught. Considering some factors will allow them to realize that it often can be.

Teachers should recognize that not all students can be taught public speaking because some students are nonverbal. For these students, educators may want to consider alternate ways of presentations. The students might create presentations using digital media or by infusing works of art that they have created.

Recognizing Challenges
Subverting students’ fears about public speaking is not necessarily the best approach, and it can damage rapport between teachers and students. Pacific Lutheran University suggests bringing up the challenges students may face and how to overcome them early in the semester.

Demonstrating Skills
While showing demonstrations of all types of speeches is often impossible within the confines of a semester, educators should work to infuse some of these lessons. They can show videos of public speakers and have the students comment on what the speakers did well and where they fell short in terms of success.

Answering Questions
Some students do not mind standing in front of a group of people and giving speech or teaching them how to do something. However, they become nervous when the audience starts to ask them questions. Teaching learners how to prepare for such questions is a tactic that Yale suggests. For example, students can learn how to predict difficult questions that the audience members might ask.

Developing Rubrics
When students speak in front of a group, they might not know what is expected for them. Since teachers talk at the head of classrooms every day, they may not recognize this gap. Educators should sit down to make a rubric listing exactly what they expect from their students in the speeches. Providing this rubric to the class allows the students to tangibly see what they are required to do.

Encouraging Enthralling Topics
Most learners don’t want to sit in a classroom and listen to another speech about how to tie their shoes. At the beginning of the semester or year, instructors may want to ask students what topics they are interested in discussing. While not all of them have to be used during that particular class, gathering ideas from students can help teachers to develop stronger lesson plans in the future.

Public speaker is definitely a skill that can be taught. Crafting successful lessons does involve knowing that some limitations exist. On top of that, professors and teachers need to look toward methods they can actually use in their classes.

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