Public speaking class practices skills at special event

Oley Valley School District  |  Posted on

Students enrolled in Public Speaking participated in a unique opportunity to practice the skills they are studying in class with a group of extremely special guests. Upon entering a new classroom, engaging in an interview, or meeting people for the first time, one of the most anticipated requests is “Will you tell us a little about yourself?” In order to practice responding to this question and introducing another person, Mrs. Kallis asked each student to invite a guest to a gathering organized by the students. The students chose their guests, prepared delicious foods, and decorated the classroom in anticipation of the event.

As each student and his or her guest approached the lectern, the excitement was palpable. Students introduced themselves and then their guests. It was enlightening to listen to the visitors communicate their diverse backgrounds and how they incorporate public speaking skills in their careers and daily lives. Student Allie Hassler remarked, “This was an incredible opportunity to learn how many careers use public speaking. We created a safe, comfortable, and inviting space to share ideas and meet new people.” Regardless of the presenter, students and guests alike addressed the anxiety that most people experience when speaking to a group. Normalizing this emotion and providing their own techniques to attempt to assuage this fear, guests reassured the students and improved the students’ confidence. Junior Makayla Geist shared, “This was a really fun way to become more comfortable with public speaking and to get to know everyone in the class better.”

At the conclusion of the presentation, Pennsylvania State Police Officer Mike Wegscheider, invited by his daughter Heidi, presented the class with a badge affixed to a pamphlet that in part includes the following words: “It is also my duty to be of service to anyone who may be in danger or distress and, at all times, so conduct myself that the honor of the force may be upheld.” The students and Mrs. Kallis are genuinely appreciative of the token provided by Brigadier General Wegscheider. This event could not have been a success without the visitors volunteering their time, sharing sage advice, serving as exemplary role models and providing a memorable experience for all.