In 2015 Jane Cameron (owner and lead trainer with Positively Speaking) supported pupils from Stewarton Academy in their presentation skills preparation for the YES Ayrshire Company Programme Finals Night. The school team (Go Company) won Best Presentation Award. This lead to a series of meetings with East Ayrshire Educational Services and a recommendation from the Executive Director (Mr Graham Short) to Secondary Head Teachers within East Ayrshire.
Doon Academy subsequently requested two half-day effective communication skills workshops, each for 18 S1 pupils to support Scottish Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes. The workshops comprised a mixture of short information sessions, interactive discussions and several opportunities for pupils to speak in front of others, both in small and large groups, culminating in a prepared talk on a theme selected by each individual pupil.
Information sessions included confidence boosting tips, using examples to support a point, techniques to add impact to your talk and tips for the effective delivery and structure of a presentation.
An important element of the workshop was feedback which concentrates on qualities the pupils already have as speakers and areas in which they could improve. This is developed into peer-led feedback to understand the relevancy of giving/receiving constructive feedback. Throughout the day, various "energising" games were used to keep pupils active and engaged.
This workshop supports skills such as listening and talking, team work and peer/self-evaluation across the Curriculum and contributes towards progression to National Certificate and Highers. Subject areas with specific benefit are:
Despite starting out with some understandable nerves, the pupils soon engaged with the workshop and quickly were able to offer supportive peer evaluation to each other. By the end of the workshop, all pupils had spoken at least twice in front of the group, including their final prepared talk on a subject of importance to them.
An evaluation form was completed by each pupil and the following scores were recorded overall:
School Staff Feedback
Our S1 pupils took part in the Confidence in Speaking workshop which provided a valuable opportunity to improve their education and employment prospects; it shows how the power of their voice can bring positive change and can equip them with a valuable skill for life and for work. The group were encouraged to support each other and to share their experiences and all the young people took a big step forward in their confidence and speaking ability.
School Pupil Feedback
I never thought that I could stand up and speak in front of people but I did it!, I feel much more confident now and know that I can do it again.
I was nervous to start with but there are lots of tips and hints; I want to work with young people when I leave school and I know that it's good to be able to speak well.
No way could I do that before but I can now. I think more schools should do this (training) so more pupils can learn to stand up and learn to speak in front of others.
Currently no funding source is available to offer these workshops to schools. Therefore the cost must be met by each individual school budget from Local Authority allocation.
The cost of an individual workshop can be reduced if 3+ workshops are commissioned by a Local Authority.
There are no additional costs or expenses incurred other than the overall fixed fee for each workshop. Schools are requested to provide paper/pencils for pupils.
Depute Head Teacher
Tel: 01292 550521
Positively Speaking: empowering young people to fulfil their potential and maximum their opportunities
Tel: 01292 678373
Mob: 07837 011690
Jane Cameron again supported Ayrshire schools in the 2016 preparation for the YES Ayrshire Company Programme Finals Night. Two of the schools she worked with won awards for Best Presentation (1st Place Horizon Enterprises - Kilmarnock Academy, 2nd Place Belmont Academy).