The Importance of a Speech Class
Standing up and presenting something in front of a crowd can be a very nerve-wracking thing to do. This is why Apex’s very own Mr. Ferguson feels so strongly about offering a speech class for students of Apex High. Having the ability to prepare a good speech, visual representation, and presentation etiquette are all taught in this class. “I can’t think of a profession that these skills would not help you in. Being able to persuade people opens so many doors to be able to get things and ideas across,” according to Mr. Ferguson. This shows some of the different reasons these skills come in handy. In the future, you will be given so many opportunities to state your opinion, persuade someone, or present a project, and without any basic speech skills, many things could go wrong.
“I want kids to be able to gain confidence. I want them to be able to articulate thoughts well and I want them to create change in life if they want to make a positive change,” responds Mr. Ferguson when asked about his goals in teaching this class. When seeing someone coming into his class who may be shy or not confident in public speaking, it immediately becomes a target to get this person a few steps closer to being a master in speech. It can be very scary to sign up for a course that isn’t your strongest suit and that may terrify you, but knowing what can come out of this opportunity is what you should be thinking about. When Mr. Ferguson was in college, he too was very scared of public speaking. He needed a speech class to graduate but was so scared of it that he signed up three times and kept dropping out of it until it was his last chance to take it. Building on someone’s positives instead of trying to fix the negatives is where someone will thrive best in a new environment.
Megan Goodwin is a junior at Apex High who is currently taking Speech I. When coming into the class, she was not very confident in public speaking and like many others, often got nervous to present a project. There are many fun things that go on in class other than writing and presenting speeches. One of these things is icebreakers or speech games within small groups. This is Megan’s favorite part of the class. One of the games that students play consists of standing up in front of your group and having to talk about a random subject for two minutes. This helps with thinking on your feet and coming up with things on the spot. Like many students, the expectation of this class is to improve in public speaking skills. Students want to get over any stage fright they may have and overall become more confident.
Currently, the school only has one level of this class, but as Mr. Ferguson has been told by many students, people love this course and are wanting to continue at higher levels. “We used to have three levels and I taught all three and I’m hoping within the next few years we can build it back up. I do have a lot of kids who took speech and would like to continue going through the next level and challenging themselves,” says Mr. Ferguson. Some people may be thinking, how would speech I differ from high levels? So, when asked, Mr. Ferguson said, “You get into a little bit more of a debate as you go. It’s really just the expectations of your presentations and quality that should have improved from when you first entered speech I.” These are the main differences between the levels.
In conclusion, public speaking is a skill that is a necessity in life. Without these abilities, it can be very hard to either get a point across or simply state your mind. So, if you are a little shabby in your public speaking or you may get pre-presentation jitters, then you should consider taking Mr. Ferguson’s speech class offered right here at Apex High School.