Public Speaking Shouldn’t Be Mandatory In School


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Brianna Garcia-Andrade, Writer

Have you ever felt so nervous to speak in front of a class that it made you physically sick? If your answer to that question was “yes,” then you are not alone. A lot of people go through this every time a class presentation rolls around. Although, you might not see it coming because most hide it very well. This article is here to inform others about the negative effects that public speaking has on some students. Hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll be convinced that public speaking should not be a requirement in school.

Forcing a student to present in front of their class will only make their anxiety worse. It will overwhelm them, which will only make them feel worse when they have to actually present. This sparks fear within a student. Fear of walking into that class every day because you don’t know when the next time your teacher forces you to speak in front of the class will be. Why would you ever want a student to fear having to go to your class? It leaves a bad memory attached to the class, which will push them away from wanting to continue with that course, even if it’s something that they normally enjoy doing. Instead, why not make public speaking an option? Make sure the students know that there are alternative assignments available for them, but still encourage them to try presenting in front of the class. Doing this will make them feel safe and more willing to try it if they know it’s at their own pace.

Even if a student chooses not to present in front of the class, why would that be so bad? Teachers always say they do it because they want to prepare us for adulthood, but not all students are interested in careers where public speaking is a requirement. While there are students who choose a career involving public speaking, they did it knowing exactly what that career entails for them. Meaning that they would make an effort and, if given the option, be more willing to get over their fear of public speaking because they know they will have to in the future. Other students know that they don’t want a career that will require them to speak in front of a crowd.

Why make public speaking a requirement to be evaluated for a grade in a class that doesn’t revolve around public speaking, such as math and science? The objective of school is to learn about different subjects that will help us when picking out the career paths we want to take in the future. It would make more sense if schools made public speaking a class on its own. Having public speaking as a class would be beneficial for many. This way students would be able to decide for themselves if they want to take the course, without thinking it could affect them in the long run. The class could teach students how to speak in public, as well as teach them how they can slowly get over their fear of public speaking. 

In conclusion, public speaking is very hard on some students which is why schools shouldn’t make it mandatory. Instead, give students the option to opt-out and do an alternative assignment or simply support them and try to understand what they are feeling. Teachers should work with the students to help them overcome the fear, they should not be the ones unknowingly making it worse for the student.