Public Speaking: Anxiety Provoking or Beneficial?

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Carly Stenger, Author

         At CASHS, speaking in front of your classmates is a must if you want to be a successful graduate. I remember often having Socratic seminars, fish bowls, and presentations on books we had to read for class. We also ICT which was a whole course based on speaking in front of the classroom. This made a lot of students really nervous and dread going to class. Do you think it is necessary for CASHS to require students to speak “publicly” if it causes anxiety? 

     Once when I was in elementary school, a girl in my class stood up to give a required presentation, obviously, very nervous. She ended up peeing her pants in front of everyone, making public speaking something she still fears today. Not only do high schools require “public speaking” practices but this also starts as young as the elementary years. Though high school students may not pee themselves, we definitely still get nervous to talk to the class. 

      Speaking in classrooms prepares kids for future job interviews, business meetings, and other instances where public speaking is necessary. ICT utilizes practices such as eye contact, appropriate movement, and voice levels. I know some students think it is a good life skill to practice while others think it should not be a required practice. 

      I interviewed junior, Liliana Reynoso and asked if she believes it is a good practice. “I mean, I hated it but yeah. What if you get a job? If you are promoted to manager or are the head of a company, you will have to stand up to people and talk. So, if you don’t have this experience in high school, it will affect you in your career. How will you know what to do and how to communicate?”

What are your thoughts? Do you think it is necessary?