As I shared last week, competitive speech and debate was one of the most formative activities of my high school and college years. I love helping young people learn to communicate with clarity, confidence, and grace. So I wanted to share some practical ideas for incorporating public speaking into your homeschool or classroom. (Note: This post includes affiliate links.)       1. Encourage Memorization The first time I remember doing any “public speaking” was reciting a Robert Louis Stevenson poem to a group of people. I don’t remember all the details of it well, but my mom tells me I was probably about six at the time. I’m sure I had already memorized some Bible verses and hymns at home, but I remember learning The Moon because I performed it for other people. Children can memorize as soon as they can talk. My 19-month-old isn’t stringing enough words together to memorize […]

Six Ways to Teach Public Speaking Skills

  I have no explanation for why I wanted to compete in speech and debate. Most parents force their kids to participate; I asked my parents to let me. The stereotypical public speaker is charismatic and outgoing; I was quiet and reserved.   But I attended a summer camp as a 15-year-old and noticed that some of the most articulate students were talking about this thing called debate that they did. I came home intrigued and eventually asked my parents if I could try it. They said yes, so I signed up to give a speech for the last local homeschool tournament of the year, somehow made it to the final round, and knew I had found a new passion.   Over the course of the next seven years (three in high school and four in college), I competed in five forms of debate, five speech events, moot court, mock trial, […]

Public Speaking: A Dangerous Skill Worth Teaching