The Benefits of Public Speaking


Ava Repanich, Staff Writer

There are people today who think that it is unfair or unimportant to require public speaking in schools. The Atlantic says that,  “…students have started calling out in-class presentations as discriminatory to those with anxiety”. There are people from all parts of the school district, from students to faculty to districts who are beginning to side with this policy, although I think it is a crucial part of education to condition kids to learn how to speak in a public setting.

While it is valid that students with a restrictive disorder that will mentally prevent them from being able to give a presentation should be given an exception, a student who is just shy and has a hard time talking to people would greatly benefit from learning public speaking skills.

Whether you work in retail, a cubicle job, or at your own business, public speaking will be an aspect of your career. It’s a skill that many people will admire and will help you succeed further in life rather than someone who never developed the muscle. Even outside of a job, it is still an important skill when standing up for yourself or even ordering in a restaurant. Many people can be nervous to talk to anybody publicly and to speak their own mind yet being conditioned from a young age to consider it normal to talk to people and let your voice be heard may help you to exude this trait later.

I talked to some students at our school to see what they thought, to see if I’m being too harsh on our world’s young student population, but it seems other kids see the same flaw in a lack of public speaking. I talked to a sophomore student at West Seattle, Owen Davido who said, “Too many kids would be quiet in class, people already don’t talk in class.” His sentiment only further iterates that students who are afraid to present will get a worse education being less active in class not asking questions they need answers and actively participating in class. He’s not the only student I talked to that shared my views on this topic, though. I also talked to Ella, a freshman at our school, who said, “I’ve been presenting since I was a baby and I think I’m more confident because of that.” That is a student who saw their life impacted, positively, by the forced method of becoming a more open student.

Not everybody is able to participate in class discussions and presentations and those students who struggle mentally to participate are an exception. But, for the majority of students who are shy, get a little nervous, or embarrassed, getting a consistent practice of public speaking may later find it becomes easier in the future. I think, along with many other adults and students alike, that the best way to bring students out of their shell can be rewarding them with applause after completing a presentation which they were nervous to share.