Leaders That Listen Public Speaking Curriculum

Advocacy Guide


Advocacy is an important leadership tool for using your voice to draw attention to significant issues, compel people to act, inspire positive change, and demonstrate caring toward others. This toolkit offers guidance on how to use public speaking to promote social justice, including how to advocate for yourself and others in everyday situations. These resources help speakers and educators alike to cultivate advocacy skills by practicing speech structures, sentence starters, simulation activities, and school/community action projects.

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  • reading-video

    Reading w/Video

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    Activity Ideas

  • speech-template-video

    Speech Template w/ Video

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  • rubric-quiz2


  • project-sketcher

    Planning Tool

Resource 1: Advocacy: The Heart of a Leader


This essay defines advocacy, outlines internal and external barriers, and suggests the best learning environment for an emerging advocate.

Resource 2: Self-Advocacy and Challenging Inequities


This essay describes how feelings of inferiority interfere with self-advocacy and how to take steps to surpass barriers.

Resource 3: Building a Team of Youth Advocates: Stories from the Author


The author tells personal experiences with helping high school students advocate and how a teacher can be most useful.

Resource 4: Getting Advocacy Started: For Educators and Facilitators


This one-pager contains 6 personal checkpoints for facilitating thoughtful dialogue where diverse views can be heard.

Resource 5: Getting Advocacy Started: For Speakers


This one-pager contains 6 personal checkpoints to help speakers feel more prepared to advocate. Check out the video on tips for “How to Speak Up For Yourself”.

Resource 6: Getting Advocacy Started: For Listeners


This one-pager contains 6 personal checkpoints to help people maintain a learning mindset when listening to people advocate.

Resource 7: Developing a Strong Stance: Mapping Your Expertise


This graphic organizer helps organize notes about personal expertise, passion, contributions, and areas of continued learning.

Resource 8: Basic Advocacy Speech Structures


This resource shows common elements of advocacy speeches, along with an
example of how to structure a self-advocacy speech.

Resource 9: Adapting to Audiences and Navigating Power Dynamics


Use these tips to ask the questions needed to adapt to different audiences, who may or may not immediately agree.

Resource 10: Advocating for Special Needs


Use this resource to advocate for special needs and disabilities, including tips for preparing remarks, approaching meetings, and improving over time.

Resource 11: Advocacy Sentence Starters


Use these sentence starters to respond in situations of confusion, difference of opinion, or changing the subject.

Resource 12: Advocacy Skill Drills


This resource describes four skill areas to practice, including example drills to become comfortable advocating on the spot.

Resource 13: Small Steps for Educators: Advocacy in the Classroom


Incorporate advocacy into daily instruction through these ideas for class routines, school programs, and practice for real-world situations.

Resource 14: Activity Examples: Advocacy Simulations


Use simulations to explore real-world advocacy, such as IEP role plays, school board meetings, and documentaries.

Resource 15: Class Project: “We Care” Group Advocacy Presentations Assignment Sheet


This resource provides an example of a longer 2-3 week group project to advocate for those in need.

Resource 16: Advocacy Presentation Rubric


This rubric can be used for a group presentation advocating about an issue and its potential solution.

Resource 17: Community Change Idea: Youth Councils and Leadership Programs


Create or improve youth councils so they focus on meaningful school change (including an example survey to determine focus).

Resource 18: Project Sketcher


This planning tool and calendar help organize public speaking project goals and prioritize specific skills and milestones.

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