Coup de Grace: Speaking secures success for students

Assignment Chief Grace Mottley attempts to end deteriorating institutions and ideas of our society through a Coup de Grâce, a “decisive blow or finishing act,” as she questions the culture we live in. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so what better way to change society than writing about it.


What do people fear more than dying? According to a study conducted by the University of Nebraska, the answer is public speaking.

Public speaking scares 80 percent of people, which is understandable because it can be nerve-wracking, nauseating, and stressful. At the same time, good oratory skills are one of the most important abilities you can possess.

In almost any profession, you will be required to speak well, even if it’s not in a formal setting. Developing good oratory skills benefits your overall speaking abilities, which you use on a daily basis while interacting with others. Regardless of the field you enter, you will be required to speak to others in a coherent manner, and the capability to do so will make you seem more intelligent and professional.

Even if you’d rather seem unintelligent than speak in public, good public speaking skills allow you to successfully present yourself and your ideas, a strength that is critical if you hope to succeed in your career.

The development of good public speaking skills is pertinent for students’ success in the workforce, yet we don’t encourage that development during high school. Some students choose to take speech, an elective offered to upperclassmen, and some choose to participate in activities that develop these skills, but there is no Speech requirement.

JC should require students to take a semester-long speech class as a graduation requirement in order to encourage students to develop these important public speaking skills. The ability to speak and present well is something that will make them successful, and JC should teach students these skills.

While implementing a required speech class may prevent students from taking an additional elective and may negatively impact year-long journalism and yearbook electives, the benefits of developing good public speaking skills in students outweighs the negatives of missing a semester of electives. Students will learn an inherently valuable skill that will stick with them and benefit them for the rest of their lives.

In order to combat the fear of public speaking held throughout our society and to prepare our students to be successful, JC should implement a mandatory speech class that will prepare them for the world that lies ahead.

Grace Mottley is the Assignment Chief for The Patriot and