Students need to demonstrate that they can give presentations to display their knowledge and express their ideas. I know this task can get many students anxious. Being a shy student, I was terrified to speak in front of the class up until college. What changed it for me was a great teacher in college who gave me specific steps for how to prepare and give presentations/speeches, such as, the ideas in Five Steps to Super Speeches.
One of the teachers taking my TESOL course told us about how he has his students write “Oscar” Speeches. He even has them do the “Red Carpet” entrance and dress up if they like. I thought this was such a fun idea. I did an Internet search on Oscar speeches and found the coolest website that analyzed Oscar speeches over the decades and pulled out common components. A graduate student from Georgia Tech University created an interactive where you could create your own acceptance speeches and compare it to actors. I tried it and my speech was most like Reese Witherspoon’s, who is my favorite actress…too cool!
Please share any ideas you have to make public speaking tolerable and even enjoyable for all your students.
I have an idea that I have used with my shy ESOL students to bolster their self-confidence when sharing in front of an audience. It follows as a logical next step to your "create your own acceptance speech" activity.
Why not film or audio record your students' speeches and publish the "polished" performances on the Web?
Voki, and Podomatic are just two of many sites where you can upload audio and video clips to the Web for public consumption and, more importantly to your students, feedback.
Here the idea is simple: Students get to rehearse their speeches and get to view and listen to themselves. This will bolster their self-confidence.
Give it a try and let us know how it went for you and your students. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!