Student Confidence About Public Speaking

Research-Based Questions to Guide Best Teaching

Student Confidence About Public Speaking

In our post, “Student Confidence About Public Speaking,” we highlighted the research of Craig O. Stewart et al., who explained the connections between students who have growth mindsets and confidence with public speaking. To summarize, they concluded that students who have a growth mindset view public speaking as a skill to be learned rather than an innate talent and are more comfortable with public speaking. Those students believe that (1) public speaking allows them to develop and express their own ideas, not just the views of experts, (2) good speeches require revision and rehearsal, and (3) good speakers tailor their speech to meet the needs of the audience (183-184).

Questions to Guide Educators’ Professional Development

  1. How often do the teachers in your district/school incorporate public speaking opportunities for students in class? (e.g. Have students speak in front of the class.)
  2. For teachers who do not provide public speaking opportunities for students: why not?
  3. In what ways can teachers in your district/school integrate public speaking into their lesson planning?
  4. How can teachers in your district/school help develop students’ growth mindset about public speaking, emphasizing that public speaking is a skill to be learned rather than an innate talent?


  • See MindsetWorks:
  • See the Washington Post article, “We should be teaching kids public speaking in school”:
  • Allow teachers time to review and adjust their own lesson plans to incorporate public speaking opportunities in class
  • Provide samples of student public speaking opportunities for teachers to use

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