our approach

Become a better speaker

Feeling more confident as a speaker can only come with guided practice in a safe, non-judgmental setting

Set Goals

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Our programs begin with your interests. We work with you to define and refine your personal communication goals so you are always practicing what is interesting and relevant to you. We also explore how our personal goals relate to the group.

Practice

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During practices, we work on your goals by using personal stories, debate prompts, conversation topics, dramatic scripts, or original content. We begin with a mini-lecture on specific techniques, followed by workshop time with targeted feedback.

Reflect

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After receiving feedback, you have time to reflect on your progress and figure out what you would like to improve next in future sessions. Beyond personal reflection, we always have time for team-building, encouragement, and sharing our experiences.

How do we practice?

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Our programs provide opportunities for ongoing revision and improvement. Your interests and goals drive every experience and you can always count on supportive, expert feedback to help ease your fears. All of our programs are built upon six elements of confident communication and are designed to be applied to a concrete goal, product, or performance.

Coach people on using their voice to communicate effectively

Private Lessons

Our private lessons are our most in-depth experience to improve public speaking skills for those who want to see deeper improvement. Youth and adults focus on specific areas of interest, experimenting with different types of public speaking, analyzing conversations, improving speech writing, and receiving one-on-one coaching to reach personal goals. We also periodically offer workshops, classes, and guest lectures.

Youth Camps

We have three types of youth summer programs offered every year:

TPS Summer Camp - high school students
Two-week TPS Summer Camp, where students take classes in persuasion and spoken performance.

Young Speakers Camp - ages 8-12
One-week Young Speakers Camp covers basic presentation and spontaneous speaking skills.

Competitive Debate Intensive - high school students
One-week Competitive Debate Intensive, where students practice argumentative techniques.

Create spaces to practice with each other and share experiences

TPS @ 2

Every Sunday from 2:00–3:00, we come together at The Practice Space for a community discussion group about communication. Join us for an hour of food and conversation about stories related to communicating in everyday life. Explore topics like, “Why do I feel awkward?” “Fear of public speaking” and “How to interpret non-verbal communication”. We share experiences, discuss relevant research, and figure out common goals.

Weekly Office Hours

We have weekly office hours on Sundays from 3 to 4pm and on Thursday nights by appointment. This is open practice time, where you can try specific vocal and physical techniques and learn warm-ups. You are free to practice content you might be working on, either by yourself or with a volunteer coach. We can also provide you with already prepared material to work on specific goals.

Gather stories and experiences in local communities

Podcasts

Listen to our weekly podcast, where we highlight student experiences and stories. On our podcast, we share and discuss experiences with communication, moments when we feel like we have a voice and when we feel like we don’t.

Speaker Stories

Our community events feature “Speaker Stories”, where our students present story speeches about their challenges and triumphs communicating in everyday life. These events are fun, social, and build empathy through shared experiences.

Support capacity for community organizations, schools, and groups to build confident communication skills

Professional Business Services

We offer workshops for businesses who want to improve presentation delivery, facilitation techniques, networking skills, and strategic communication. Designed to fit your professional needs, we provide on-site training for a one-time group workshop on presentation skills or a customized series of services that includes coaching for individuals.

Teacher Professional Development

We help teachers find their unique voice and communication style and prepare them to support students’ speaking skills. Through one-time sessions or more sustained professional development, we address questions such as: How can I communicate academic content in a way that is engaging and clear? How can I encourage student voice and facilitate communication skill development? How can I use communication strategies to create a more inclusive classroom?

Parent Advocacy Training

Our advocacy workshops help parents and families speak up for the needs of their children. We use storytelling techniques and clear templates for organizing speech content to prepare parents to participate effectively and share personal experiences in important meetings. Our programs also teach coping strategies for dealing with stage fright and anxiety, along with vocal techniques for developing a powerful speaking voice.

Youth Leadership and Debate Programs

We consult with schools and districts to create debate teams or develop youth leadership programs, such as preparing student representatives on school boards. Our services include in-depth trainings for students and teachers to learn to run debate practices and youth action meetings. Our goal is to help students become leaders of their own learning, where they are eventually able to sustain and manage programs independently.