Lesson Activities to Promote Speech Communication Skills

Instructor: Michael Quist

Michael has taught college-level mathematics and sociology; high school math, history, science, and speech/drama; and has a doctorate in education.

Speech communication can be one of the most valuable skills a student can develop. In this lesson, we will explore different ways you can use classroom activities to promote speech communication skills.

What are Speech Communication Skills?

You had to laugh. Tenth-grader Bobby stepped up to the platform in your mock debate, hand to his chest, and began to speak in a loud, clear, dramatic voice.

'Friends, classmates, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Susan, not to praise her. The evil that she has done will live after her.'

Bobby's opponent Susan was speechless, as was the part of the class that was not laughing. It was a moment that was not soon forgotten.

Effective speech communication skills can make all the difference in how a message is received
student speaker

The magical part of speech communication, the ability to effectively transfer thoughts, ideas, and information between people, is the ability to understand emotion and intentions, and to spontaneously express well-thought-out concepts in creative and memorable ways. When a student learns this skill, she will be in a better position to win scholarships, jobs, and many other situations in life where effective, prepared, and spontaneous verbal communication can make the difference. These skills include understanding emotion and intent behind a message. They involve crafting a message so well that the meaning, the intent, and the emotion cannot be missed. They include effective words, powerful nonverbal cues, active listening, managing personal and interpersonal stresses, being assertive without being overbearing,

Speech communication skills refer to the ability to exchange information in such a way that the audience understands exactly what you're trying to say, and why you're saying it.

Teaching Speech Communication Skills in the Classroom

There are many ways to teach communication skills in the classroom, other than the typical oral reports, topical discussions, and collaborative projects. Four types of projects that focus specifically on the development of speech communication skills include simulations of the legislative process, student broadcasts, structured classroom debates, and mock trials.

Legislative Process

'And furthermore, I propose that classroom lectures be limited to a maximum of 20 minutes per session, with no more than three sessions occurring in each school week!'

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