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Public Speaking & Debating

Public speaking is considered as one of the  most important skills in today’s world. It is one of the main ways our leaders communicate with us. 

While public speaking has traditionally referred to speaking on a stage in front of a large audience, it has now got a more diverse meaning with the advance of technology. 

Whether it’s an interview, or speaking in school, each of us have had to practise public speaking at some point in our lives. However, everyone has had different past experiences which shape our perception and confidence when it comes to speaking publicly. 

Individually, reflect on how public speaking makes you feel? Do you think you’re a good public speaker? Rate yourself on a scale 1-6. 

In this lesson, we will focus on building your confidence and improving on the skills you need for public speaking.


– To improve public speaking and debating
– To learn how to communicate effectively

Delivering An Effective Speech

Watch the two videos below and reflect on what you think the speakers did well, and what they could have done better. 

From the two speakers, who did you find more inspiring, and why? What did they do that made their speech powerful? 

For the other video, what do you think the speaker did wrong? What could they have done to make their speech better?

Here are some top tips that can help you deliver an effective speech: 

– Project your voice, but don’t shout
– Articulate your words: don’t mumble
– Use a calm pace: don’t rush your words
– Use emphasis and pitch: change the way your voice sounds to demonstrate importance
– Plan what you’re going to say beforehand and choose your words well: ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ words communicate your meaning

Public Speaking & Debating

For the next part of the session, we will focus on using our public speaking skills for negotiation and  debating. How good do you think you are at convincing people of your point of view? Rate your debating skills on a scale 1-5.

Watch the video below for an overview on debating and instructions for the next activity.

As you just heard in the video, a debate is a discussion between people where they express different perspectives and opinions about a particular topic. Debates can be both formal and informal..  

For today’s activity, you will be given four topics to debate on. For each topic, you need to decide which side you are on, and come up with arguments to convince those on the other side. 

While you’re debating, remember the three Ms: matter, method and manner. 

Best of luck! 

The debate topics are: 

– This house believes it was right for Matt Hancock to appear on I’m a Celebrity
– This House believes that all sports in school should be mixed gender
– This house believes that climate change is the single biggest threat to our world
– This house believes that buying and receiving expensive presents is against the true message of Christmas

Takeaway Questions

– Why is public speaking important?
– How does public speaking make you feel?
– When might public speaking skills be helpful for you?