Public Speaking Institute - Advanced Program
Held at Stanford University, the Advanced Public Speaking Institute is designed for high school students who are already comfortable speaking in public and are prepared to make their voices heard.
Students have access to our most experienced speech and debate faculty, trusted instructors and coaches who gently push the students to hone their speaking abilities and excel in their persuasive pursuits. Furthermore, students have the unique opportunity to explore the seat of free speech in Berkeley and the surrounding Bay Area. Possible excursions include a trip to the famed soapbox center of campus, Sproul Plaza, comedy clubs, theater events, and slam poetry nights, in addition to non-academic trips to sporting venues, beaches, and movie theaters.
All students participate in regular group lectures and exercises that cover advanced speech writing techniques and principles of rhetoric and argumentation in their Core Rotation, a biweekly morning tutorial that will help students progress as skilled speakers- no matter their chosen focus.
The camp emphasizes public speaking across genres, allowing students to apply speech writing, delivery and argumentation skills across a range of public speaking activities and electives. Participants construct their own personal program by choosing a “Speaker’s Focus” from a variety of advanced classes, examples of which are listed below. Students will also have the opportunity to sample other genres in shorter elective versions of these workshops. At the end of the program, students will have a chance to deliver their best speeches in a cross-genre showcase for an audience of family and friends.
Speaker’s Focus and Elective Examples
Case in Point: Mock Trial Workshop In the mock trial elective, the classroom becomes a courtroom, and students learn to be lawyers. Given materials from a hypothetical court case, participants will construct cogent arguments to win over even the most doubtful judge and jury! Students will learn the art of cross-examination, employ critical legal reasoning and deliver winning trial speeches.
Vote for Me! Campaign Speeches Political speeches are the principal way politicians and campaigners clarify their platform and inspire future vision in voters. In this elective, students will analyze effective political speeches in history and will author and deliver their own speech in order to win the trust and influence of fellow participants.
Model UN Tackle international political conundrums as a UN delegate! Participants will learn the rules and motions of UN procedure; they will caucus for causes of global import and weigh moral matters against their country’s welfare; they will learn to write effective resolutions and position papers and defend them them in front of an entire international community!
Word Up! Poetry Out Loud Poetry, with its pauses, melodies and rhythms, is a medium meant to be heard. In this unit, students will have the opportunity to memorize and recite great poems. A final Slam battle will determine which participants have mastered voice projection, articulation and dramatic interpretation.
Broadcast Journalism and News Reporting The best journalists know how to combine substance and style, and this unit prepares students for broadcast reporting by helping them master investigative reporting techniques and fine-tune the public speaking techniques, such as tone, inflection, eye contact and movement, that are essential for effective on-camera communication.
Negotiations: The Art of Getting What You Want Some say, “you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” Using a variety of negotiations simulations, students participate in role-play and learn about win-win situations, win-lose situations, and much more.
Stand-Up Comedy Learn from real, practicing comedians the art of writing jokes and skits, study how humor works and why and work on developing your own stand-up comedy routine and getting ready to “take the plunge” at an open mic!
Dramatic Improvisation Through a series of inventive improv games, students learn how to let loose, have fun, and truly keep an audience engaged. Instructors guide students through dramatic exercises that reinforce fundamental public speaking skills such as poise, volume, eye contact, and movement.
Commercial Appeal: Business Presentations and the Art of Advertising For all those who aspire to land a spot on The Apprentice or The Big Idea, this elective prepares students to give “pitch perfect” professional presentations. Working in teams, students will create either an entrepreneurial business plan presentation or an ad pitch to be delivered in a business symposium at the end of the program.
Competitive Policy Debate Often referred to as “The Iron Man Contest” of speaking and academics, competitive policy debate is the most intellectually challenging activity for high school students, with a national circuit of hundreds of schools participating. Learn to research a topic, analyze the benefits and costs of public policy, use evidence in your advocacy and cross examine your opponent. Ultimately students will learn to “think like a debater.”
“The best features were how much diversity we had with our classes. I liked how we were able to take multiple types of classes. “ Hanna Guthrie, Advanced PSI camper
Public Speaking Institute - Advanced Program - Staff Profiles
Staff are typically subject matter experts and experienced teachers. Staff assignments vary by program and all staff are held to the highest possible standards. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:
Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2017 staff.
We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed.