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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

[OPINION] Public speaking should be mandatory

%5BOPINION%5D+Public+speaking+should+be+mandatory
Lale Baylar

I’ve seen some bad class presentations from students who speak quietly, classmates who ramble for far too long or slides with more text than this article. I’ve also seen good speakers: people emanating confidence while interacting with an audience and having intriguing presentations on topics I had never cared about before. Public speaking, when done poorly, can be boring or downright awkward; however, when done well, a speaker can motivate audiences and be a driving force for change. 

According to Harvard University, public speaking is one of the most common fears. However, according to Ingrid Kleinjan, the only speech teacher at Mounds View, just about a hundred students a year take Speech. This means a little over 5% of all students dedicate time to learning public speaking, leaving many unable to share their thoughts confidently and concisely. This is why public speaking should be a required course for students. 

As someone with parents who constantly motivated me to learn to speak better, I was never really into public speaking as a child, but after many years of speech and debate, I’ve realized how important public speaking is, even in everyday life. Public speaking can boost confidence, allowing students to share their ideas without seeming ashamed of their opinions and in the words of Dale Carnegie, writer and lecturer, “win friends and influence people.” 

According to Forbes Council Member Bobbie Carlton, public speaking can help career growth, boost your reputation and expand your network as a working adult. A study published by the National Library of Medicine showed that better communication skills led to lower work stress and less burnout, and such skills allow students to better connect with teachers, peers and coworkers. A well-rounded public speaking class also allows for all students to gain exposure to public speaking beyond the occasional class project. 

Additionally, public speaking is a skill that one can develop throughout their life and continue improving no matter their skill level, making it a perfect class for different skill levels. Over time, students could learn to write and design presentations and practice presenting to various groups. Through fun projects, students can learn how to deal with anxiety better, connect with their audiences, use constructive criticism and perhaps even learn to improvise. 

Many people have legitimate issues with public speaking beyond just general anxiety, so a mandatory public speaking class would have to be flexible. Students who struggle with speaking could try a silent presentation or partner up and have the other person do the speaking. Students who can’t stand in front of the class could give their presentation to a smaller group or even just to the teacher and perhaps work their way up during the class. As long as the curriculum is open to different types of expressions that suit different ways of learning, a public speaking class could serve everyone, even those who would otherwise never take such a class. 

All things considered, a well-taught, engaging public speaking class is beneficial to all students and so should be required in high school. Hopefully, we can not only give better speeches but also catch more interesting presentations. 

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About the Contributors
Isabella Kunc
Isabella Kunc, Features Editor and Spread Editor
Hi! I am Isabella, Spread and Features editor for the 2023-24 school year. Journalism 1 and 2 were so fun last year that I decided to stay on staff as an editor. While reading and writing are my favorite pastimes, I also enjoy debating, running, singing, learning new languages, and hanging out in Theater. I hope you pick up the next Viewer issue and learn something new! Awards:  Best of SNO - Our community's car dependency
Lale Baylar
Lale Baylar, Opinions Editor
Hi! My name is Lale, and I'm the Opinions editor and illustrator for the The Viewer 2023-24. I like to draw & paint as well as watch thrillers in my free time. I also enjoy trying new restaurants or baking new recipes at home. I'm in MV's Orchestra, Mustang Mentors and love volunteering at Kinderberry Hills and the Bell Museum. You can reach me by email: [email protected] :)
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