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Creating Gateways to Public Speaking

This post features guest blogger, Elohiym Mudaavanha who is part of The Expressive Leaders Program at The Practice Space. This post is about Elohiym’s project Gateway Public Speaking.  We hope that after you read this you can understand why there needs to be activities that ease people into learning speech and debate. 

My name is Elohiym, I live in American Canyon as a sophomore in highschool. What makes me an Expressive leader is my attitude of constant improvement towards society. Right now I care about addressing the issue of accessibility to Public speaking. My project is about making it easier for people with little to no experience in public speaking to learn the basic skills that they need to be successful. I chose this project because whenever I try to bring public speaking into my community, it is met with discontent and a lot of people drop out before they even get the chance to experience it. 

The inspiration for this project was the shortened versions of public speaking events that we did at my middle school’s speech and debate club for school performances which everyone enjoyed more than the professional events. This issue is important because speech and debate is often treated as a gated community that is hard to get into without proper resources, resources that not everyone has access to. The development of resources that are easy to understand like this one are essential to ungating public speaking. 

As part of my project I needed to understand the most fundamental parts of public speaking, the parts that are necessary for you to know before anything else. The first thing I did was deconstruct the aspects of public speaking into three main important skills. Those being storytelling, finding evidence, and responding to evidence. One challenge I have had is formatting the information so it seems more professional, so I decided to create a website that people can visit to learn more about gateway debate. One surprising thing I have learned is that a lot of the skills that you use to do public speeches are the same ones you use when doing debate, which made it easier for me. 

As a result of this project, I hope more people will be able to find their way into the world of speech and debate, and that others will use Gateway Public Speaking as an example to create their own systems for people to ease their way into public speaking. 

What you can do to support my project is to share the website link with people who are interested in Public speaking but don’t know where to start, and teachers who want to use public speaking as an activity in their classrooms. For more information about my project please contact The Practice Space! 

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