The benefits of participating in speech

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Elissa Dames, Editor

In a world of technology, the ability to communicate with someone face to face has faded away. The act of communicating via screens has taken its toll. Numerous people get nervous at the idea of giving a presentation in front of a class or being interviewed for a job. These people do not think they can do anything that involves putting themselves out there for everyone to critique, leading some to claim the problem is that this generation has not been given the opportunity to learn these skills, when in fact, they have. Most high schools in the United States offer a speech program. The perfect place for students to acquire the exact skills that will better them for the future.

When a student joins the speech team and perform their piece, they gain more than a critique of their performance. Unlike other extracurriculars, speech has little to do with where a member stands against their competitors. Being on the speech team allows members to boost their confidence, learn writing skills and earn respect from others.

Right now, the average self-esteem of a typical high student is surprisingly low, according to BDB Communications. People and students are afraid to open up and share their opinions and stories. In speech, people are given the opportunity to practice standing in front of an audience and give a presentation. Confidence is gained when someone realizes they can accomplish something they did not think they could. Speech allows students to overcome the fear of public speaking and calm their nerves.

The presentation of a speech does not matter if the material is not good. Writing a successful speech for the season can be time consuming, but it needs to be able to captivate the audience for a long period of time. Each event in speech has a set time each contestant needs to meet and a time they cannot exceed. Being able to make a point without extra fluff strengthens writing greatly. Writing a speech also helps people better understand how to write in a way that is easy to follow without sounding elementary.

Lastly, being a good public speaker earns students’ respect from classmates and adults.  When a student shows someone confidence, their opinion about the student changes. The student starts to look less like a kid and more like a functioning adult.

When first starting speech, no one is expected to be perfect. The point is to learn and grow from the experience. Being able to speak in front of people is a skill everyone should possess and joining the school’s speech team is a terrific start to tackle public speaking fears.