Speech Prep for Teens

Start:Sep 24, 2023

Duration:75 Minutes

Goal: this Session will improve the confidence in presenting your speech.


Summary: Learn how to give a speech you can be proud of!

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Trail 1 of 4 — Speech Interview

Duration: 15 Minute(s) | Zone: Wake-up | Kind: Cognitive Trail

Summary: How to nail your interview.

Step 1

Okay let's be honest here. Nobody likes to interview for anything. It makes you feel awkward. Why? Because it is awkward.

It's also the only way to get the job or the award you really want.

If you're doing this navitent (navigational steps), then you must be preparing for an interview.

How do you feel about having people ask you questions when you have something riding on the outcome?

Step 2

If you're like most of us, then you probably said you were worried to some degree.

Now let's work on your confidence because it's confidence, not necessarily your answers, that's going to be your biggest asset.

Interviewers are looking for who you are. For an example of this jump up to the video icon and look at the interview scene from "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Tell us how the clip landed with you when you finish watching it.

Step 3

Even though he was dressed all wrong, had paint in his hair and on his face and had just run there from jail, Mr. Gardner nailed the interview. Better yet, it's a true story.

Here's what we like about this interview:
1- He's honest
2- He's confident
3- He's approachable
4- He's humble

Do you share any of these traits? If so, which ones? If not, what traits best describe you. Write them in the space provided.

Step 4

You probably are more honest, approachable and humble than you may realize.

You wrote a speech that reflects your passion, interests and goals. You're being interviewed about your own history. You already have the answers.

It doesn't get anymore honest, straightforward or relatable than that.

What part of your personal history are you most proud of?

Step 5

Go to the documents icon above and download the sample interview.

Read through the questions.

Select "successful" when you've finished.

Step 6

Before you start to practice the sample questions, let's work on your confidence level.

You can probably answer the questions without any problem, but without confidence, it isn't likely to go the way you hoped in the actual interview.

Start here. What inner qualities do you have that make you feel good about yourself? These qualities could strength, personality, empathy, courage, intelligence, resilience, integrity, loyalty, humor, and so on... You get the idea. Now run with it. List them below.

Step 7


Confidence is an understanding of who you are and what you bring to the table just by being yourself.

Nothing fake. Nothing cocky. Nothing insecure.

Just you, your story and a deep appreciation of what you stand for.

So...you know what inner qualities make you feel good about yourself.

What else do you enjoy?

Describe a particular pastime where you feel confident just being yourself. Perhaps it's a sport, hobby, internship or job that you're especially good at.

Write about it in the space provided.

Step 8

Now you can answer the sample questions. Before you do, find a mirror you can practice in front of. We know this may feel very awkward, but, trust us, it's importent to your success.

If you're doing this navitent where there's no mirror or privacy available, then ask a friend, mentor, teacher or trusted relative to give you feedback.

If you chose the mirror, then notice your expression and body language as you answer the questions.

Describe what you saw in the space provided.

If you asked a friend to watch as you spoke, then ask them what they noticed and write what they said in the space provided.

Step 9

Nailing the interview is about knowing who you are, what you stand for and the confidence to discuss it with your head up and shoulders back because you're proud of that part of you.

Wear that attitude to the interview.

How much do you think you can do this on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being "no way" and 10 being "absolutely"?

Step 10

This is the obvious one.

Of course you'll dress in what makes you feel your best.
Of course you'll smile, shake hands if possible and look people in the eye.
Of course you'll stand head up, shoulders back.

But will you remember to wear your best attributes and the confidence that your story is amazing because it's yours, and nothing else is going to beat that?

Step 11

If you said yes, then you're ready to go.

If you're unsure, then reschedule this navitent by going to the "Scheduler" tab to the far left (5th icon down) and set the date or dates you'd like to redo the steps.

This is a process. Don't worry. You actually have this more than you may realize.

How are you feeling about it now on a scale of 1 (nope, nothing) to 10 (got this)?

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Trail 2 of 4 — Timing Your Speech

Duration: 20 Minute(s) | Zone: After Lunch | Kind: Cognitive Trail

Summary: Most speeches have a limit, and this navitent shows you how to stay within your timeframe so you stay in the competition!

Step 1

Let's begin with a video clip.

Jump up to the video icon and see Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson deliver a knock-out speech in a scene from "The Gridiron Gang".

Let us know how Mr. Johnson's delivery landed with you. (Not his words but the way he said them.)

Step 2

Mr. Johnson delivered a life changing message in just 1 minute and 14 seconds.

That's impact.

Do you know how long you're given to speak? If you were told you have a certain timeframe to deliver your talk, it's important to stick to it, especially if this is a competition or if there are other speakers going before or after you.

Clock your speech now, going at your normal speaking pace, and tell us how long it took to deliver it in the space below. You could use your cell to do this using the "stopwatch" feature in "Clock".

Step 3

If you're like most people, then your talk is probably too short or too long.

Is that about accurate?

Step 4

If you said "yes", then let's edit your speech until it hits the limit you were given or a bit under.

To do this, take a look at what messages you have that don't really add any important information or that use too many words to describe.

Start there.

Do you have something you can trim or delete altogether without hurting the message?

Step 5

Take about 10 minutes and edit your talk, looking specifically for cutting information that's repetitive, too long, too wordy or not important to the overall message.

Select "Successful" when you've done this.

Step 6

Read through your speech again and see if you like what you read.

Let us know how satisfied you are with what you have edited when you're finished reading through it.

Step 7

If you need to go back and continue the edits, do so now.

As soon as you feel good about your overall message, then time it as you read through it again at a natural rate of speed.

Write the time it took when you've finished.

Step 8

Are you at the time limit and like what you read and feel certain you read it the way you would deliver it to an audience?

Step 9

Then you're good to go!

If not, ask a mentor, teacher, etc. to help you make additional changes. Time the finished product and see if you like it.

You'll get this. No worries. It's a process all good speeches go through.

When you feel comfortable with your time, proceed to the navitent called "Presence".

How excited are you about your speech so far on a scale of 1 (anything but this) to 10 (knuckle bump)?

Step 10

Keep in mind that everybody else in the contest is nervous and feeling pretty much like you do.

And not one of them has the depth of preparation you have.

Relax. You really got this.

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Trail 3 of 4 — Pacing a Speech

Duration: 15 Minute(s) | Zone: Before Breakfast | Kind: Cognitive Trail

Summary: Tips on how to pace a speech so the rhythm feels natural and your audience can hear and relate to what you're trying to get across to them.

Step 1

You've written your speech.
You've read your speech.
You're confident you've given it your best because it's your story, and your story is invaluable to you and showcases what's best about you.

Now...how do you deliver your treasured story so other people get what you're trying to convey to them?

Well...one of the best orators in history is thought to be the late Sir Winston Churchill.

If you know his story, then you know he made some world-class mistakes as a younger man. He was often rude, eccentric and a know-it-all. He definitely didn't have looks going for him (Sorry, Winston).

But he had his moment in time, and he gave it all he had.

Head to the video icon and watch his speech. It's from the movie, "The Darkest Hour."

Notice how his use of words and his carefully paced delivery were effective in inspiring a nation to rise up and defend itself against Nazi Germany.

He knew that if England continued to ignore the power that was coming against it, then life as they knew it would be destroyed by the pending invasion. He was desperate to awaken the people of England to this very real danger and get them to fight for their freedom. He only had one shot to do so.

Let us know what you thought of his delivery when you've finished.

Step 2

Sir Winston Churchill's speech was from the heart.

He delivered it with passion and made sure the importance of his message was slowed down enough for it to sink in with his listeners.

Take a moment to read your speech as if you were urging people to hear and understand the significance of your message.

It's your story. If you don't present it as the best part of you, then no one is going to be able to embrace it as you do.

Now, head for a mirror and practice if you're home alone. Otherwise, ask a friend, relative, mentor, teacher, etc. to hear your speech. Deliver it the way you want people to absorb it.

Describe what you saw in the mirror - or were told by your friend, etc. - in the space provided.

Step 3

Remember, Churchill was not a popular man. He wasn't a looker. He had an awful reputation for insensitivity. But he had "it" (passion, honesty, humility, clarity and cadence) when he needed it most.

He was confident. He knew this was the most important speech he would ever deliver. It had to be put across so that his own passion, honesty, humility, clarity and cadence would make a profound impact upon his listeners.

Can you check all five of those boxes in your own presentation?

If not, which of them do you think needs work?

Step 4

Let's focus on what needs improvement.

First, though, how confident are you in your material? In other words, how much do you like what you wrote in your speech?

Step 5

Is there anything you need to edit in your message so it has more impact? If so, take a moment to do so now. Return and select "successful" when you've finished.

If not, skip and go to the next step.

Step 6

Think about the characteristics in Step 3 that you listed as needing some work.

Practice your delivery in front of a mirror or friend, etc. until you feel it has passion, feels honest and isn't fake or cocky (humility). Particularly look for improvement in the qualities you thought needed work.

Notice if you convey your message clearly (clarity) and if it's said in a way that the audience gets the full impact of what you're trying to convey (cadence).

These aren't just words. They're your story. They're a part of you. People want to connect to you as much as to your words.

Bring that to your presentation and describe how you felt after you've delivered it this time around.

Step 7

Do it again and focus on speaking more slowly and earnestly, looking around the room at different people as you talk.

Your face should match your words. Sometimes your face will register pain. Sometimes joy. Sometimes humility.

The point is to connect your expression to your words. Give it punch when it needs punch and pause to emphasize something particularly impactful.

If you need to revisit the Churchill speech, do so as often as it takes until you see the same level of passion, honesty, humility, clarity and cadence in your own speech.

When you've finished practicing and/or rewatching the clip, select successful.

Step 8

How do you want your listeners to feel after hearing your speech?

Step 9

Focus on that, and your confidence, passion, humility, honesty, clarity and cadence will follow.

How much has your confidence grown since starting these steps on a scale of 1 (nope not happening) to 10 (I got this)?

Step 10

It's a speech that reflects your passion.

Go for it!

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Trail 4 of 4 — Presence

Duration: 25 Minute(s) | Zone: After Dinner | Kind: Cognitive Trail

Summary: Giving a speech so that people take notice.

Step 1

It's time to put it all together.

We're going to focus on presence.

People will only hear about 20 percent of what you say, but they'll get the entire message by the way you show up and present it.

Take a look at a scene from Braveheart and tell us what you thought of William Wallace's presence as he delivered a real-life speech.

Step 2

Okay so maybe you don't want to paint your face half blue before you walk out on stage.

That's okay.

Any color will do.


Did you notice how Braveheart OWNED IT when he rode out in front of his countrymen?

How are you planning to walk out in front of your peers and let them know at the start that you own the next few minutes?

Step 3

If that question threw you, it was meant to.

You have your message, you've refined your message, you've timed your message.

Now it's time to present it so that everyone there remembers who you are and what you stand for. It's your story, so you can't go wrong.

Try this.

In the days leading up to your talk practice in front of your mirror, or, better still, in front of a teacher, mentor, etc.

Who will you choose and how many times are you going to run through your talk from now until the day of the big event?

Step 4

Nail the start and you've nailed your speech. It will give you the confidence you need.

When you practice, keep the real event in mind.

It goes like this:
*Walk out as if you're on stage.
*Head up
*Shoulders back
*Pause to the count of 3 so people take notice that this is YOUR time
(That means to count 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi)
*Aim your eyes at the top of the heads of people in your audience so you won't have to see their faces
*Deep breath, exhale, state your name with emphasis
*You're off and running! Let the words from your speech flow out of you.

Imagine how your stage entrance should look.

In the space below, describe what you think you're doing well and what you think could use some work on.

Practice for real as soon as you have the opportunity to do so.

Whenever you're practicing in front of people, be sure to include any comments from those you practiced in front of as you repeat this navitent in the days ahead.

Step 5

Now practice how you're going to present the body of the talk.

*Speak clearly.
*Keep your head up and shoulders back.
*Emphasize the parts of the story that have special meaning. Consider the Braveheart clip or the Churchill speech. Go back and watch them again if you need to.

Do you have an idea about the parts you'll emphasize?

Step 6

*Don't be afraid to move around if you can take the mike with you.
*Walk to the right and pause as you're speaking
*Now left
*Now stop in the middle
*If you can't walk because the mike doesn't travel, then make sure you keep looking at the tops of the heads of your audience as if you're moving. Look toward the right, then slowly scan left and back to middle. Repeat naturally.

Practice now and let us know how it made you feel as you gave your speech.

Step 7

Keep practicing if you said fairly bad to very bad.

If you said good or very good, then continue to the next step.

Step 8

Don't be afraid to emote.

You know, emoji yourself!

When you're saying something meaningful to you, lean forward a bit with your head. Have an expression that matches the emotion of your words.

*If it's pain, then look pained.
*If it's proud, look proud.
*If it's disappointed or frustrated, then tell your face that's what it should be saying, too.

Mirror time. Or friend/mentor/teacher time.
Practice until you feel like your face and your words are saying the same thing. Remember that people are going to see your face and forget most of your words. But your face will tell them everything.


How's it going so far? How much are you tracking?

Step 9

When you're ready, put it all together.

Make sure to have someone time it. "Stopwatch" feature on your cell's "clock" is great for this.

*"Walk out" and own the stage
*Pause and count to 3 slowly.
*Deep Breath, Exhale
*Look at tops of heads
*Let your words spill out
*Move around the stage or use your eyes - right, left, center, repeat naturally
*Emphasize the parts of your talk that had the most impact on you
(that means slow it down and put an emphasis on it with your voice, rate of speed and expression)
*Emoji !!!

If you don't remember anything else that night, remember this:
It's your talk, tell them as if you were telling the story the first time to someone you really wanted to understand it at a deep level.

How confident are you at this point?

Step 10

It's your story.

You seriously got this.

Knuckle Bump.

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