Updated: Jan 11
Public speaking, like riding a motorcycle, is a skill that is best acquired through practice. And what transpires when we have fun doing it? We do it more frequently. The benefits of public speaking are numerous and when you can make the process enjoyable why not engage yourself by practicing frequently. Being a good speaker is advantageous for your academics, social life as well as personal growth. So, here are some engaging and interactive public speaking activities and games for students that one may perform at home with your family/friends or in classroom.
Fun Public Speaking Activities to Try
There are a variety of games and activities available to help you improve your communication skills and become a motivational speaker without the need of a formal audience. Let’s dive into a list of games that can help you with you oratory skills.
Storytelling is essential for captivating your audience and ensuring that they remember what you're saying. Find an intriguing photo online and video yourself telling a story about it to practice building narratives. Discuss the history, who the characters are, their dreams, motivations, and everything else that will help you create a captivating storyline about them. For instance, one can randomly present a picture of a toy or any cartoon character and spontaneously make up a story about it.
In Arabian countries, this is considered a classic lion's lair metaphor. Other nations eventually used the term "Dragon's Den" to refer to the game. Dragon's Den is basically a cave where entrepreneurs and investors assemble. The name "dragon" refers to investors, and entrepreneurs must pitch their business proposals to them. Give students a common object, and the student who presents it pretends to have invented it and has to attempt to sell it to Dragon's Den. Three Dragons ask questions and make bids on the goods. In this way they’ll not only develop communication skills but also strong marketing skills.
The Cooperation Game
In this exercise, each participant has to recite narrative which should finish with a particular conclusion, for example: “... and then the rabbit lay an egg.” So whatever the story may be, the last line must be concluded with a given phrase. This is a great way of enhancing one’s oratory skill as well as overcoming stage fright.
In this game, students make up bizarre terms and place them in a box. The speaker must choose a term and define it for the class before using it in a sentence. Example- A Coxswaddle (noun) can be a made-up word for “a strap that is used to tie an ox to a wagon”. So, a sentence formation using the same word might be: "The ox fought the leather coxswaddle on the cart." This way, one gets prepared to speak in any kind of situation.
In this activity, the pupils pretend to be members of the intelligence team for the government. They've arrived for a debriefing in which each super spy recounts how they utilized one of the objects in the room to save a life, rescue the country or arrest a criminal. For instance: “There I was, gazing at my rival, Red John. He was up to his old antics, attempting to steal Olivia's newest tennis sneakers. He'd gotten away from me twice before, but this time would be different. I took out a stapler and sewed his two-tone shoelaces to the carpeted floor. He was discovered weeping beneath the table by the cops." This is a fun public speaking activity that will ultimately improve the thinking and negotiation skills of an individual.
My Fictional Friend
Like Speakolobe, many Public Speaking and Personality Development Workshops or Classes encourage students to introduce their friends. The sole purpose for this is to help students communicate with each other. However, a fun twist can be added to this activity. The students can be asked to introduce their friends who should be entirely imaginary: “Hello, I'd like to introduce Bruce, a hockey player who also likes street dancing. His favorite meal is roasted vegetables. When he grows up, he wants to work at an elephant sanctuary.”
A narrated drama is can be an interesting activity in which one narrates a story while others act it out. Bengalis in West Bengal (India) have a tradition of performing on stage at important events such as Durga Puja. People participate in recitation, singing, dancing, drama, and other activities. The most common activity is a person singing and reciting a Rabindranath Tagore tale or song, with a troop of dancers performing throughout the songs and a theatrical play during the recital. Students can modify this into a fun exercise in which one person tells a tale while the others play it out.
Public Speaking is all about persuading and selling a concept, you should hone your advertising and organizational skills to be the best you can be. In this public-speaking game make a one-minute ad on anything you have in your house. Record yourself explaining what makes it unique, how it can improve people's lives and why everyone should have it in their possession.
One of the most important exercises to improve oratory skills is Tongue Twister. Like many public speaking games this one is also fun to play. The speaker selects a twister from a box and must pronounce the printed sentence three times without faltering over any syllables. Many students like to be competitive and therefore practice it at home to beat their friends in this game.
An example of a tongue twister is: “She sells sea-shells by the seashore.” Practicing twisters is a great exercise to control speech problems or even stammering. It not only improves one’s communication skills but also improves their pronunciations. It can also be practiced right before an important event such as webinar/seminar or talk show where one is expected to be a decent speaker facing a room full of audience. This will also increase one’s confidence.
In this game, you simply stand out in front of a group of friends and someone gives you something to say on the spot. It might be a topic, a sentence, a single word, or anything else, and the speaker is required to speak for five minutes on or utilizing the impromptu. It's engaging and entertaining to play, and helps individuals build confidence and become wittier. For instance, one can be asked to speak on Independence Day for at least four to five minutes. Without any prior preparation he/she has to speak on the topic.
Much of what it takes to be a successful public speaker is the ability to tell stories. Teaching students how to come up with stories on the fly would improve their conversational skills. If we want to educate individuals to be excellent speakers, we need to practice speaking on a regular basis and make it enjoyable. That's where technique enters in leading to emergence of such interesting public speaking activities and games for students.
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