Public Speaking Profile


Get an inside look at what it’s like to be in Public Speaking

For many students, working up the courage to speak in front of their peers can be almost impossible, making presentations one of the most nerve-wracking parts of high school. Taught by Jeannie Jens, Public Speaking is a class aimed at helping students develop confidence in themselves and their ability to communicate with others.

“The ability to communicate effectively with others is a vital skill. Whether it is delivering a presentation or going to a job interview, your success will often be determined by your ability to present yourself confidently and speak effectively,” said Jens.

Students take Public Speaking for a variety of reasons, whether they need to improve their public speaking skills or heard great things from previous students and wanted to take the class. For junior Ashley Pandelides, Public Speaking was a chance to become more confident in her speaking.

“I decided to take Public Speaking to improve my interview skills and crack myself out of my shell when it comes to talking to people,” said Pandelides.

An average day in this class focuses on improving the students speaking skills and memorizing their speeches. Students will typically learn a new skill, such as eye contact, and practice that skill with a partner or small group, and then in front of the class. At the same time, the students will be practicing for their upcoming speeches, incorporating the new skills they learn each class. These skills help the students develop their speeches and ability to communicate.

For most people, Public Speaking is a highly beneficial class which gives students tools they need for the future. For Jens, her biggest goal is that students will simply complete the course feeling more confident with themselves. According to junior Sydney Watson, Public Speaking has helped her become more confident when giving presentations.

“I feel this class has helped me improve my public speaking because it’s challenging and it made me more comfortable and prepared to deliver speeches on the fly,” said Watson.

As for speech day, students take turns presenting their speech in front of the class. They are required to dress up in business casual attire, and speeches typically last two to five minutes. Speech day can be filled with a mixture of emotions for students, such as junior Scott Mogensen.

“I’m usually nervous at the beginning of the speech, but then when I look around and realize that everyone is in the same shoes as me, I don’t really mind at all,” said Mogensen.

The types of speeches given vary. Students have given two speeches so far; one about someone who is important to them, and one about someone in the class that they had to interview. For their third speech, students will have to deliver a famous speech.

“My favorite speech is the … famous speech we do [because] I chose the one that was given by an 11-year-old at March for our Lives in D.C,” said Watson.

Whether students are completely comfortable giving a speech, or it’s their biggest fear, Public Speaking is a beneficial opportunity to practice and gain more confidence in speaking.