Youth Public Speaking Course Summer Social

Jun 26, 2022

Which adult wouldn't love hopping online with 23 youth speakers?

I was like uh oh, I planned for 12 speakers at this event.

The last event boasted 30 speakers, and it was chaotic.

This time it was even more chaotic. At one point I was trying to find a private text in the chat, and there were 99+ new messages in like 10 seconds. And every third text was reminding us about Grant's amazing eyebrows.

Fact: a speaker mentioned how beautiful another students eyebrows were in his speech (audience interaction), and then he saw a big reaction out of the audience so he used the phrase way to many times during his talk, and BOOM, everybody was talking about Grants amazing eyebrows.

Speaking tip on anchors: you have to repeat a single word or phrase in the same manner at least three times. If it's catchy, it'll stick.

I gave out cash prizes but...

Looking back, our youngest speaker Mia, deserved a cash prize. Her speech titled, "Life of an Eraser," was brilliant. Everybody can relate to eraser abusing, but she had show and tell. She even had others showing off their erasers.

Note to self: delegate, I needed a timer. I struggled with being a stopwatch, emcee, and a bunch of stuff when I was supposed to sit back and enjoy the show. I needed a judge. I had to choose a cash prize winner and it was horrible. I've worked with all these students, each one is unique.

I couldn't even sleep after because I kept repeating names of students who should have won the cash prize. I should have chosen better!"

My biggest regret was not getting help from one of our leaders who wasn't speaking. I should have had her much more involved- my bad.

The speakers who received cash were pretty chatty throughout the entire meeting. Their presence stood out at the time but in hindsight, I totally forgot about learning how to remember forgotten things- deep breath. Looking back, Grace deserved a cash prize!

Vickie talked about what a true HERO is; including you and I. The speech deserved a cash prize! Are you a hero? It led to a full on discussion afterward. These are the moments that need to be acknowledged.

There was another speech that stood-out in hindsight: Why Youth Leadership is Bad, by a talented young Bobby who is way to clever for his own good. That speech deserved a cash prize. Kids are terrible decision makers.

One of my philosophies for all clients...

Talk about what YOU want to talk about. I'll show you how to speak, how to construct an argument, and how to make money using slimy sales techniques. But I don't tell anybody what to talk about. That takes the leadership element out of speaking. I give a theme, and speakers talk about anything they want.

Some students are passionate about dealing with climate change. Christina wants to get into a TedX talk and I'm going to push her.

Some students keep it real when he talking about stereotyping. They shock the heck out of you. You remember that speakers need to be fearless.

Fun fact: I'm often stereotyped as the best dang speaker coach on the planet! When people look at me they just say, "Speaker coach! Look at how awesome he is. He's a speaker coach for sure!"

One area of improvement for the group:

Better speech endings. We had a lot of fantastic openings but many speeches ended with, "Ya, thanks."

This goes for every speaker on the planet; start strong, stay strong, finish strong, pause, and then say to the host, "Back to you."

One upset for me was was when our World Poverty speaker had a bad mic connection. I could hear her effort and the words were there, but the message was blocked with static.

We got a little noisy at times...

The student I'm thinking about in particular was interrupting other speakers... uh hm, Rachel... not to mention names... but I know she processes information at super high speeds. I'll give Rachel speaking exercise with a speaking challenge and she often surprises me with the structure and humour.


I invited a guest, an engineer for the biggest tech company in the world. Our guest was impressed by Rachel. Our guest said, "Rachel has something."

I know, I was shocked (jk), but the truth is that almost everybody was somehow engaged in the conversation whether it was in the chat or in the meeting.

Tackling BIG Issues

We have youth tackling big problems like discrimination- the effects and how to stop it. Esther is new to speaking, but already shining brightly.

I'm going to hopefully shoutout in some form to all the speakers in attendance, even Tessa whom I've never met before but was eager to get involved.

Some students left early and some students showed up late and kept the chat booming with more talk about Grants eyebrows.

Some speakers have powerful stories to share like Diane talked about childhood goals. I'd say we all need goals.

Shoutout to the speech titled: The Beast, Leica went from not wanting to turn on his camera on and not wanting to speak at an event to owning his stage time talking about his two hour wait for the adrenaline packed Beast ride the PNE.

There was only one student that went over time, and when I went to clap him off. He talked louder and clapped me off. This is exactly why youth leadership is bad! Seriously though, this kid did every exercise I gave him. He prepared speeches for every class, and his name came up first for best speech.

I just have to watch out because "This kid" already has enough confidence. I don't want it going to his head and having him become some world leader or something ridiculous!

I want to mention a few kids who couldn't show up, like the owner of Tyrannos, the bearded dragon whom I worked with all year.

Our $100 cash prize winner from the last competition was a no-show; which hurt me. Jason can speak. Yeah, he complains every class for various reasons; one of the latest reasons was that I gave cash prizes but he wants a certificate and a medal. In his words, "You can keep certificates and medals. Money just disappears."

I ran this idea by older speakers and they said that it's actually a great idea.

I was sold, now I have to figure out to make them!

Thomas and Oliva, and the entire Sunday EQ and soft skill class were out but I know they were out practicing all the great speaking skills we work on each week in class.

In the end, I forgot to get a screenshot of the group giving a thumbs up. that's okay, I had a lot of fun, and I hope everybody who ever works with me has a lot of fun.

In summary, I had a great time hosting this event and listening to our future leaders. I want to have a couple of youth speaking events/yr with sponsors, trophies, and cash prizes. Let's make that happen next!

Join my community and follow the progress.


Devin Bisanz