SpeakUp, Find Your Voice!
By Noah Ramos
SpeakUp is a public speaking and confidence-building workshop where teens are engaged to be effective communicators, by presenting oneself in a more compelling manner or by connecting more deeply with the audience. In the most recent SpeakUp workshop, children of Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) — aptly called as EO NextGen – went through the basics of public speaking and ended the workshop with exciting presentations on their topics of choice.
This workshop was created due to the lack of opportunities for teenagers to learn how to present themselves in front of peers or elders. I was part of an EO NextGen entrepreneurial camp –MyEO NextGen Manila 2015 — where we needed to pitch a business plan to several judges. However, we had little guidance about how to present this idea in an engaging manner and, as a result, our presentation left much to be desired. Because of this, I looked for ways to improve my own skill in presenting. However, I was surprised that there were little to no workshops nor teachers who can guide teenagers specifically, in the art of public speaking. Effective communication is an extremely useful skill throughout life, building self-confidence and allowing one to share his or her ideas and opinions clearly. I met a group who trains company employees on effective communication and, with their help, organized a workshop tailored for teens my age. Thus, SpeakUp found its voice!
For its first run, it was clear that the best people to invite for the workshop would be the same group who inspired me to organize it in the first place — the MyEO Nextgen Manila campers! It was a good first run where close to forty EO NextGen’ers, ages 13 to 18, participated. This workshop is in line with the camp’s goal of shaping its participants into entrepreneurs, as good presentation skills are always necessary to gain support for a new business. In the future, I am excited to set up more workshops to help teens speak up and find their voice.