Middle and high school students want to ban in-class presentations because some students experience speech anxiety. These students argue that speeches put undue pressure on teens, particularly those with anxiety disorders. One student said, “Nobody should be forced to do something that makes them uncomfortable.” This is quite a statement.
I agree that students with severe anxiety may be at risk and certainly need additional support. But most people can easily overcome speech anxiety. A couple of years ago, I developed a web-based tool with strategies to use before, during, and after a speech:
Employers will not likely tolerate employees who aren’t comfortable presenting in front of others. School is the time to practice and develop these skills.
What’s your experience with giving speeches in middle and high school?
What have you done in your life to feel more comfortable giving presentations?
What’s your view of the students’ position?