At some point in their life, nearly everyone is called upon to speak publicly, yet only about 10% of the world's 7 billion people actually enjoy it. That 10% group experiences no fear and likes talking in front of a large crowd. However, for the remaining 90%, public speaking is a problem.
Six years ago, I founded “Speak Out!” to combat this global issue. “Speak Out!” is a free, non-profit public speaking training program that combines a face-to-face kick-off presentation with a six-month after-school public speaking club that culminates in an end-of-year speech competition. The goal is for all participants to walk away more confident, more articulate and enjoy, not fear, public speaking. A secondary goal is to help students with a financial need earn speech scholarships to the school of their choice.
I led “Speak Out for ‘Tweens!” for four years while I was in high school, devoting 600+ hours and training more than 100+ middle-school participants, seven of whom earned tuition scholarships. “Speak Out for ‘Tweens!” was promoted on schools’ web sites, newsletters and in the local media. Word of the event reached more than 100,000 people during my time leading it. The magazine and newspaper articles and five-minute video links here summarize the work I have done to make “Speak Out for ‘Tweens!” successful: https://youtu.be/se0JSkG4k-M and March 2017 (page 35) and https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-magazine/march-april-2019/top-teens/5/
Upon starting college, I decided to offer “Speak Out!” to adults to help them overcome their public speaking fears too. I redesigned my curriculum to fit into a compressed time frame and now offer it to my college peers through groups such as Drexel Hospitality Society and Drexel Women in Business, as well as professional organizations such as Rotary International. Much like my program for ‘tweens, the requests keep coming – even during the pandemic, so I have now make my program available online.
Funded by Philadelphia, PA (September 2021)