Hi, I am an English teacher. And, I would like to share with you some happy stories of me and my students while teaching them the course “Public Speaking and Oral Presentation.” My favourite assessment is their persuasive speech presentation.
Frankly, I am a lousy speaker. I dread public speaking so much. You should know that I certainly have nothing to share with them in terms of public speaking skills. However, I remember my favourite book “Quiet” by Susan Cain. Susan Cain writes that we should learn how to speak boldly by advocating our values.
Therefore, during one tutorial about “The Rights to Free Speech,” I shared with them that…(All this sharing is based on my own reading while doing some internet search)
Free speech is indeed important, especially in a democratic country where everyone’s voice is important. With the right for free speech, the minorities get to voice their difficulties. However, some people with authority tend to abuse this right by reaching out to a large group of people with manipulative messages through mass media. Their manipulative messages which have been circulated for an extended time might influence the people’s mind and in a more serious case, their consistent messages might normalize discrimination towards certain groups. In a university, students should have the right for free speech because our university in a good place for all academicians and brains to gather and discuss for innovative solutions to solve our social ills or bring more betterment to our society. When there is the right to free speech, everyone is welcomed to give their different opinions and argue. Through this healthy debate, we become critical and would certainly learn to look at an issue from many different perspectives. And, that’s how we can take into account different contexts and situations where certain solutions might work or not. However, politicians can be invited for a talk in our university but students mustn’t be manipulated by the politicians to be a tool for their political selfish gains. And also, if a priest argues that homosexual people violate his religious teaching, it doesn’t mean he is a bad person. Maybe he is just having a healthy debate with other parties to find the best solution/answer. It’s a learning process for everyone. Our arguments can be hurtful towards some parties, but it shouldn’t be hateful. At the end of the day, the conclusion we would like to reach is a consensus which brings the utmost benefits for everyone, including the minorities and criminals. So, please remind yourself of your kind intention for mankind while arguing. Pick a persuasive speech title which has something that most people don’t know but you know it’s important for them to know. It’s not only something new for them to learn but also something significant or worrying in our society. It can be a cause you are fighting for or something related to your life experience. You are speaking to create positive changes.
And my students have given me surprises during their persuasive speech presentation. All their persuasive speech titles are awesome. They are very relevant to our today’s society and are indeed important issues which require our attention. I have seen not only improved public speaking skills over the trimester, but also more mature thinking.
They shared about…
- Why parents should be licensed like drivers, teachers, etc.
- Why death penalty should be abolished due to injustice judgement, etc.
- Why we should adopt and not buy a pet
- Why we should donate blood (seems boring and common but she links it to many mothers who died due to excessive blood loss during child delivery in underdeveloped countries)
- Why we should abolish nuclear bombs
- Why we should teach our children respect by spending quality time to educate them
- Why we should monitor the use of technology among our children for getting goodness out of it and not the other way
- Why we should register as a voter
- Why should we be aware of emotional abuse
- Why we need social interaction
- Why we should oppose cohabitation
- Why we should not stigmatize suicidal people (The speaker has experienced mental illness)
- Why we should not let our children listen to fairy tales due to their violent language and themes related to gender stereotypes, child abuse, theft, etc… (The speaker used to love fairy tales)
- Why we should implement sex education (He is a shy student.)
- Why we should not watch pornography (The speaker was addicted to porn.)
- Why we should legalize LBGT marriages (The speaker is from LBGT community.)
I enjoyed their speeches very much as I have been inspired deeply.
It’s an interesting course though I was first panicked when I was informed that I would be tutoring for this course. Now it has come to a beautiful end. I am relieved and happy.