Public speaking course teaches practical skills

Stevenson has given its students a unique opportunity to develop their public speaking skills by offering a class called Public Speaking. The class teaches students how to talk to an audience, or even just a few people in a public setting.

“I feel like public speaking is one of those few classes you can take that actually applies to everyday situations for the rest of your life because now whenever I need to speak to groups of people, I know how to,” Ilana Kopelman ’17 said.

According to Statistic Brain, 74 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety. Public speaking is a very common fear. In fact, it is the most common phobia in America, known as glossophobia.

“The main goal I have for my students is to help them improve from their starting point,” Richard Tompson, public speaking teacher said. “The grading is based on individual effort and improvement, not a set standard.”

Tompson also said everyone starts off at a different point. Some might be pretty experienced at public speaking, while others may struggle a lot.

“I’ve always been alright at public speaking, but obviously there’s room to improve. This class seemed more interesting,” Vlad Berez ’17 said. “In this class you get to learn things that you can apply to everyday life.”

According to Public Speaking Power, being able to speak in public will increase a person’s self-confidence.

“In addition to speaking in front of an audience, we’ve been learning a lot about body language and how to maneuver your body to send certain messages and I think that’s been very helpful, not even in just public speaking situations but also in day-to-day conversations,” Kopelman said.

Many people struggle with speaking in front of an audience. But with this class offered at Stevenson, its students now will have an opportunity to improve their public speaking skills.