Public Speaking and Debate

Craft Compelling Arguments and Speak with Confidence

Students will learn the fundamentals of public speaking, debate, and presentations. This program will address appropriate public speaking form as well as logic and reasoning. Through collaboration and discussion, students will practice speaking and reflection about what makes a good speaker. Students will also learn about using PowerPoint and props to support their presentations. Over time with consistent practice, our hope is that students will gain confidence to speak with ease. Public speaking is no easy task and the best way to hone competence is through practice and constructive feedback. SpiderSmart strives to create a stimulating and supportive environment in which students can grow as speakers and debaters. Overall, practicing good public speaking and debate encourages students to express their ideas with clarity, logic, and persuasion—skills essential to their academic and professional futures.

Public Speaking

Students will practice giving speeches and presentations with a variety of prompts. By using various TED talks as models, students will identify good presentation techniques. Students will practice body language, eye contact, and projection. In addition, the course will focus on crafting logical, convincing arguments. Good public speaking not only relies on style, but also reasoning and efficacy. In order to become effective speakers, students will learn to identify their audience, clarify the intent of the presentation, and deliver a clear message.


Students will learn the structure of debate and practice debating in teams. By debating multiple issues, students will break into groups and develop their key arguments for or against the given topic. They will need to identify the strongest supporting facts or arguments for their position. Students will also practice debating within time constraints and giving rebuttals. Within this framework, students will learn to research, take effective notes, engage critically with the issue, and think on their feet.


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