•Natacha B: “Effective Speaking is the first class in [school] that I actually truly got something out of it. There are no words to explain how I love the class so much. This is talking straight from the heart. I used to despise talking in front of the class. Now I look at it in a way to speak my mind freely. This class showed me a whole new level of confidence I never knew I had. Even though I would get nervous before I did my talks, I would get this feeling of excitement when I went to talk in front of the class. This is the first time I actually liked going to a class in [school]. This class also gave me an idea of what I want to do as a career when I get older. Not only did I learn how to talk, I learned that I am a strong, confident, and unique individual. . . . I want to thank you so much for a lesson you taught me in life.


•Michael J: First speech: “I was sweating and shaking. I was nervous to get in front of the class. I then felt better when my classmates clapped for me when I was going up. I felt a little better but I was still nervous. When I finished my talk my classmates clapped for me and said I did a good job. I also felt better because they were quiet and they listened to my talk.”

•Daniel B: “I gained more confidence when talking in front of an audience.”

•Carlo E: “Then I present a show of my own, hear positive comments from my classmates, and feel good about myself. I still don't want to be a center of attention but now I’m more comfortable doing what I have to do.”

•Vera M: “Public Speaking is the best class I have ever taken. I saw the change in people like C and S who were never outspoken and the change in them is incredible. I learned more about my image.”

•Kate K: “I feel I have gotten a lot out of this course. I am confident when speaking in front of a group of people (especially my peers). I know I can get through an interview successfully. In saying all this, it comes as an obvious statement when I say I thoroughly enjoyed this course.”

•Tina C: “As a result of this course, I have gained a confidence before my audience that I have never felt before.”

•Jessica F: “I have learned a lot from it because my confidence has grown and now I can’t wait to give my next speech.”

•Diane S: “This class has made a big difference in my life. Before Effective Speaking I was a lot shyer than I am now, a couple of months later. The first time I went to make a talk, I was scared to death. I was worried about what the rest of the class would think. Now I feel so comfortable talking in front of people. I actually have a lot more fun giving the talks now that I have overcome my fear.”

•Vincent P: “Every one of my talks were successful and each time I felt more confident than the last. Every time I get up to talk now, I feel like I belong up in front. Learning to speak in front of the room increases your confidence, self esteem and comfort level as well as speaking ability and level of preparation. Effective Speaking is one of the most worthwhile classes I have ever had the pleasure of being in.”

•James K: “The way of complimenting and giving positive remarks rather than criticizing has helped make it [speaking] more comfortable and [I am] more willing to do a better speech the next time.”

•Chris S: “Now after taking this course, I can comfortably give a speech without the fear that I used to have. I can now arrange mental notes so I remember what I would like to say. Effective Speaking greatly helped me and I enjoyed taking it this year.”

•Sean O: “This class is important because before I took this class I used to shake and stutter when I got in front of the class. Now people compliment my speaking skills.”

•AJ J: “I’ve seen numerous changes in people’s confidence levels in front of the class and have seen them improve drastically.”

•Kimberly P: “I was totally intimidated by all the seniors and thought I wasn’t able to continue to take that class. But, as time went by, and with the help of the class . . . I was able to overcome the fear I had of speaking in front of the class. By the end of the semester I was able to stand up in front of the class in a confident manner and express myself.

Effective Speaking has changed me in many ways. I am now able to raise my hand in class and not get nervous or turn red, because I have found my level of comfort. I truly believe that it was Effective Speaking which changed me. I am glad that I close to stay in the class. Many of the students showed drastic changes in the way that they speak. Everyone in the class has the ability to control an audience. Most of the students in the class speak well, most students will find that they can, in fact, go into a profession where there is speaking involved.

•Paul I: “This was a class that I enjoyed very much, and at the same time learned even more. This class helped me with one of my biggest weaknesses and made me stronger in it than I ever thought I could be. I loved going to this class to see what I was going to learn that day. Plus, on top of everything else I believe that this class gave me a lot of self-confidence in myself that I never knew existed before.


•Stephen K: “This class, hands down, has boosted my confidence. I especially like that all the comments were positive and no negativity at all was used. In this class I felt more in charge than others but yet still being the student.”

•Kevin G: “All of us made blunders but it was worth it. This class does not just work while speaking to a whole bunch of people. It also helps you one on one.
The second benefit of public speaking was learning how to be yourself to get through to people. Each talk showed a different side of our personality. That just let me be myself.”

•Lisa V: “One thing that is great about this class is that I have an advantage over everyone who has not taken it. After I was finished with my talk I received so many compliments about how I looked so calm and I kept everyone’s attention. It felt good to know that I did keep their attention without making a fool of myself and also the fact that I now know that I can handle talking or teaching kids my age and older.”

•Erin: “Leaving this class I feel my self esteem and confidence has really gone up big time.”

•Jason K: “The best part about Effective Speaking is pointing out the positives in a person’s talk. [The teacher] lets you know all talents you have and makes you feel more confident about these talents.”

•Beth S: “[The teacher] always gave comments that boosted our self esteem and give us the will to do well.”

•Krystal M: “After the class I felt more comfortable about myself. It really picks up your self esteem.”

•Lauren K: “It [Effective Speaking] made us see that it is possible to pick out something positive in everyone. It also helped us to point out the pluses in ourselves before putting ourselves down.”

•Michael A: “The most important aspect of the speech class is that it builds up your self esteem and it will make you a stronger person. That was the case for me. My fear of speaking in front of large groups of people declined rapidly.”

•Sheana H: “Because of positive feedback, students don’t fear criticisms. Everyone builds each other’s self esteem by keeping an optimistic atmosphere and giving support. This is very important in reaching our full potential.”

•Carlos F: “I got a lot out of Effective Speaking. When I first started the course, I was shy and didn’t open up to people I didn’t trust. I also had stage fright. I was always worried about what people were thinking about me, whether it be my voice, which was always made fun of in grammar school, or my clothes, which I always tried to make perfect. I learned to change all those things that I hated and enjoyed meeting and learning about new people while in this course.

My first speech was rather terrible. I mumbled and didn’t speak very loud. I moved my feet and played with my arms and sleeves. I was glad for the positive feedback I got because it made me realize that I didn’t do as bad as I thought and I needed to do work on a few things and I changed those habits.”


•Carlo E: “One of the major things about this course was not only talking to the class but listening to my classmates’ presentations. Each person was unique in their approach.”

•Sergio S: “. . . public speaking is more than an academic class, but a bonding class where people learn about one another by communicating.”

•Tina C: “Not only did I learn things for myself by actually getting up in front of a group, but I learned a good deal by watching and listening to others in the class.”

•Adam L: “Effective Speaking has also taught me how to listen to others and be able to pick out the positives.”

•Jessica L: “Effective Speaking has helped me most with my people skills and conversational skills. I now listen better to what people say and do when they speak.

•Cherod H: “I got a lot out of Effective Speaking because I never knew how much I could affect so many people just by my preparation and the way I presented my stories. The thing I enjoyed the most is the positive feedback that I got from my fellow classmates.

Because of the positive responses [the teacher] made the class comment on about each individual, the audience could see a complete metamorphosis in some students--students who were shy and did not have the comfort level that they had at the end of the year.”

•Alberto G: “The reason I feel that this class is so effective to its students is because it makes you listen to someone who maybe you have never spoken to before. It [the talks] will show sides of people that you probably think were never there. It also brings students closer together; it gives a quiet person the spotlight for just 2 minutes and it also gives the normally loud 2 minutes to be serious as C. C. showed with his talk on his father. Just by that one talk I learned a lot about all the people in the class. No one said one word or laughed once because everyone knew it was time to be serious. To see that side of someone whom I thought would never be like that in front of a class, to see how he felt good after his talk, to get some of that off his chest, to feel better about one’s self was worth taking this class.”

•Anthony D: “I learned to respect others and realized that not everyone feels as comfortable as I do and that the best compliment I could give them was my full attention. I watched my peers improve and felt good about myself for being a part of it and proud of them for accomplishing their goals. I closely listened to the talks of the others in the class and learned a valuable lesson from all of them. Also I learned that I can show many different sides of my personality and that people will still appreciate what I have to say.”


•Andrew M: “. . . the best thing I got out of this class were the friendships and connections I made. It wasn’t so much at all what I learned in this class this year, but who I learned about and I guess in a small way that I may have been able to do for them.”

•Andrea A: “Effective Speaking is more than a class to learn how to speak; it’s a class to learn to get out of your comfort zone and let people know the real you.”

•Diane S: “Effective Speaking brought all of us closer as a class. Just by getting up and sharing personal stories, we saw a different side to each person.”

•Jim K: “The speeches my classmates gave helped me to get to know others better and created a bond on which friendships could build. It was an icebreaker to help spark new friends and acquaintances.”


•Laura P: “I, as well as every other student in this class, have grown as a speaker from the beginning to the end of the course. We have improved whether it was through our confidence, our articulation, or our whole demeanor in general.

This class is very genuine because we the class have come together and bonded through sharing and listening to the speeches that we told. I enjoyed listening to the points and morals of some of the talks, which were very important for life’s everyday lessons such as self-esteem, treating others with respect, and the deaths of loved ones. I gained the feeling that we have come together and bonded with each other all because of this class. Now, because of this class, I am comfortable with speaking in front of a large audience. Therefore, I’m very glad to have taken this class and I can contend that the title of this class is very fitting.

•Carlos F: “This class helped me open up a lot. I became a lot more comfortable with who I am. When I talked about my parent’s divorce and then seeing the support of my class, their listening and their applause made me feel a whole lot better about my speech, my situation, and myself.

I also learned not to judge people. Prior to this class, I thought DB, KG, and JR were all snobs, jock jerks, and conceited know-it-alls respectively. I found out they weren’t and that they are probably some of the nicest people I go to school with. . . . through this class I learned not to think bad things about everyone else.

Last December I went to Northeastern University for an interview and the interviewer asked which is your favorite class. Even though I get A’s in history and English, I said that Effective Speaking was. It helped me open my shell and discover that showing people the real true me is a good thing and they will always like and respect it.”

•Caitlin F: “The reactions I got from the class was a good feeling. Their reactions made me stronger and gave me so much more confidence.”

•Sameerah S: “From Effective Speaking I have acquired a skill of patience. I have learned that it isn’t that easy for someone to get up and do speeches. Because of this I give them my undivided attention, and respected them when they make a mistake. I have also become more open with others in and from this class. I have made friends from this class, who encourage me outside of class to speak as I feel. I believe Effective Speaking is a course where you learn more about you as a person, which helps you relate to others.”

•Kimberleigh P: “In this class people can be themselves and not worry about stupid comments or be made fun of because [the teacher] always keeps the class on a positive note.”

•Alessandra M: “The final and probably most important skill that I learned in class was to only look for the positive in people. Because we were instructed to write down only positive things on our evaluation cards, picking out the good in people instead of bad has become second nature to me. This skill not only makes other people feel better but it also reflects itself on my own disposition. When a person learns to see the positive in other people it brings a much more peaceful, optimistic outlook to the rest of the world around them.”

•Judy G: “In the beginning I felt I was probably nervous because I did not know how everyone would react to my talks. Just the thought of having to go up and look at everyone made me nervous but once I heard the class’s comments I gradually started to relax. The class support definitely made the class less pressuring.”

•Megan O: “The encouragement I received from my classmates helped me through each speech. This class gave me the ability to get my thoughts and feelings to the audience.”

•Demetric G: “...it helps me become stronger as a person by hearing all the positive things being said about me. ...helped me grow out of my shyness.”


•Colleen M: “Upon finishing [my talk] I was pleasantly surprised and relieved that no one laughed, they just applauded. I faced my fear, got the courage to speak and I felt success for the first I spoke in front of a group. From that day forward I was able to face the crowd and speak.”

•Scott W: “With this course I mastered the technique of getting over my nervousness.”

•Kerry B: “Now after taking the class I realize that being nervous is really just all in our heads.”

•Jessica S: . . . I found how to relax myself in front of people. Now it’s easy to get in front of a class. I can just get right up and tell it [talk] without any hesitations. Everyone is there watching me and telling me that I did a wonderful job.”

•Damaris H: “Taking this course has not only helped cure my nervousness and bring about unforgettable experiences, but it has also helped me to be a better person.”

•Kevin G: “Interview with Rider University: “When I got to the interview I was a nervous wreck. I remembered the talk we had on nervousness. I used the finger technique to keep my poise... I think that is the main reason I got accepted to Rider.”

•Beth S: “My Effective Speaking class has given me the confidence, courage, and preparation skills to go up and speak--and do it well.”

•Joe L: “I feel that I have improved simply because I feel more comfortable up there and I know how to prepare for a talk.

You really get to know people and what they are about. That is the definite value and it makes the class all that more special.”

•Kim W: “Just a few months ago, I would have shuddered at the thought of having to speak before an audience. I knew once I was up in front of the room, my stomach would be in a knot, my hands would be clammy, and my heart would be pounding out of my chest. I would be trembling all over, and my voice would convey my nervousness.

However, now if I need to speak before an audience, I’m not overwhelmed by the sense of dread I had once felt before. The Effective Speaking class helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking. Although I might still feel a little nervous at times, I now know how to calm myself down by using breathing or other techniques, and I know how to appear comfortable and confident in front of an audience even if I feel it not. Also, stepping outside of my comfort zone helped me to see different ways to capture an audience’s attention.”

•Susan F: “When I began this course in September, I was very nervous when presenting myself in front of the class. At this point in time, I do not feel that nervousness any longer. In fact, it has been amazing to watch as the people in my class have changed along the way, and become so much more comfortable speaking in front of a large group of people. “People skills” are probably one of the most important tools that one needs to order to become successful. And it is true when they say that first impressions leave a lasting mark. So, I feel that this course has helped me to improve my “people skills,” and in the long run, that will help me greatly.

The Effective Speaking course offers students something beyond the basics, and in that, helps each person progress into an eloquent and poised speaker. This is a skill that comes into play every day, and is essential to the success of each person. In my own personal experience with this course, I feel as though I have transformed from someone who might come across shy to a very articulate speaker who is now comfortable when speaking in front of an audience. Effective Speaking may not be a course that helps you get a 1600 on the SAT’s, and its influence on the student may be more subtle, but in the long run Effective Speaking is remarkably “effective.”

•Laura P: “I am happy that I have taken this effective speaking class. I’m fortunate that it was offered as an elective because of the countless ways that it has helped me right now and for the long run. This class was a great learning experience. At the start of the course I nervously approached the podium and struggled to speak in front of my peers. However, I shouldn’t have been uneasy because [the teacher] does not allow anyone in the class to snicker, mock, or laugh at the speaker. Also, after each speech we compliment the speaker with only positive feedback. In a world where we constantly hear negatives, it is nice to receive positive regards from others because by doing so it helps increase our self esteem. The class has always been respectful to one another, and the value of respect has always been enforced and upheld in Effective Speaking.”

•David-John P: “...this class helped me a lot. I am a very shy and quiet person. And what I learned in Effective Speaking got me to be more sociable and to not be so nervous in front of people in any kind of situation, may it be just talking to someone or talking in front of a class. This class has helped me a lot. And also when in the class you get to see what other people think and feel are your strong points, it makes you feel better. So you know people don’t have it in for you if you are the paranoid type.”


•Carlo E: “The spontaneous impromptus help me to get my mind flowing a bit quicker than usual.”

•Erica T: “Thinking on my feet is something I am walking away with.”

•Sergio S: “A person cannot communicate well if he does not master the art of speaking, and I feel that I have definitely improved because of practice and good teaching.

I always loved speaking in public, but I had one problem. I was nervous; I could not overcome my nerves. This class taught me ways to relax, and the constant speaking in front of the room method worked.”

•Mary D: “[The teacher] never told anyone to stop doing something. It was always how about trying it this way and when you’re being told to try new things, you feel yourself changing for the better inside and out by your peers.”

•Amy K: “I learned so much. I learned about body gestures, different techniques to grab the audience’s attention, ways to remember talks, and more importantly that I had what it takes to be a teacher.”

•Michael D: “I feel more confident and more relaxed in front of a group. My nervousness has dropped considerably and I am not afraid to give a talk. Without this class I probably would have been just as nervous as I was before I took this class. I don’t know if I need these speaking skills in college but I am glad that I took this class and it was really worth it.”

•Joey L: “...watching and hearing other students speak helps you to become a better speaker. Listening to others speak also helps to develop your listening skills.”

•Vincent P: “It [Effective Speaking] has provided me with the skills necessary to deliver a dynamite talk to a large group.”

•Judy G: “We also learned to use these strengths to our benefit. Focusing on the positive played a significant part on my becoming more confident.”

•Nicole W: “I saw how it greatly affected my fellow classmates. In one semester I saw people transform from shy and intimated to dynamite speakers. I did not just learn speaking techniques but the strength of the human spirit.”

•Laura M: “I feel the closest to our effective speaking class because we were able to get to know each other so well.”

•Erica T: “The main thing I liked about this class was it taught me how to remember my talks without memorizing it or reading it word for word from a piece of paper.”

•Adam H: “Most of all, I think this class has helped me organize my talk. I can go up to the front of a class, get a situation and speak about it. I can connect it in my life to a real experience. I can also improvise. I can make up a story so quick now. This class I consider to be one of the best courses in the school.”

•Fiona G: “The most important thing we learned was how to plan a talk. For every talk I had to fill out a planning sheet. This helped me organize my talks and ensure that the talk had a beginning, middle and end. Having a specific format keeps the audience interested because it cuts down on rambling. The techniques for opening and closing a talk will always stick in my mind.”

•Irene S: “I learned that eye contact is a very important factor and including a personal incident helps to capture the audience’s attention.”

•Caitlin F: “One of the ways I learned to capture the audience’s attention was my silent pauses and my alert eye contact. It helped me so much. This was my favorite class.”

•Christian B: “This class helped me on being more creative and helped me making pauses (when my mind goes blank) look like part of my speech.”

•Brian M: “I used my new ability to be comfortable in front of a group to give a speech and in a presentation I gave in one of my classes. Being able to enunciate my words enabled me to seem more profession in college and job interviews.
I use the relaxing techniques to calm myself down before wrestling matches. They help me focus and to perform a lot better. I don’t know where I would be without this course.”

•Alessandra M: “This course has done much more for me than I ever expected. It has not just made me a better speaker, but it has made me a better person overall. I now feel more confident in my skills to relate to other people on a daily basis. I would recommend this class to everyone because the lessons they will learn they will carry with them throughout their lives. I never would have thought that I would get this much from a class when I could talk a lot and there was no final exam.”

•Michael A: “This class also prepared me for college and my future. I feel I am one step ahead of everyone that attends college with me in the fall.”

•Rafael R: “I have improved in being able to give oral presentations in other classes. It helps with job interviews too.”

•Kim W: “Not only have I benefited from this course when it comes to formal speeches, but it has helped me in my everyday life as well. I’m more aware of the way I come across to people I meet for the first time, such as an older relative I’ve never met before, and I’m much more confident in interviews, both for jobs and colleges.

Effective Speaking has helped me to be more aware of the way I present myself, so I appear to be calm, confident, professional, and responsible. Because, after all, first impressions are everything.”


•Sergio S: “Richard Nixon once wrote in one of his many books, In the Arena, that, “the written word, no matter how elegant, is different from the spoken word. It is often too sterile and lacks rhythm and punch that a speech needs. That can be corrected to an extent if the speaker works the language through aloud.” (Nixon 243). The former President was an astute politician and known for his successfulness in public speaking. He encouraged all to work on their speaking ability for success throughout their life and as the quote states, public speaking must be practiced and worked on. I realized this and decided that maybe I should take the class, and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my high school career.

It is not a class using huge textbooks or a calculator, but it is a class that gets results, which will help us in life, not only in high school. I mean with sincerity that public speaking has opened me up to others, and I will definitely seek to take some type of speaking course in college.”

•JP R: “Overall, this class has been the most exciting and entertaining class that I took.”

•Kim P: “This class is fun because it gives us a chance to be creative which we don’t get to be very often.”

•Melissa F: “This was the best elective that I could have possibly taken and I’m really glad that I did.”

•Michael D: “I did not know what to expect when I walked into my first day of Effective Speaking. Even though I chose this class as part of my schedule, I felt really nervous about it. I pictured myself standing in front of the class, red in the face and shaking life a leaf. I was worried that I would not know what to say or forget my words and look like an idiot. But as I watched my classmates do their talks, and then doing my talk, I felt like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was excited to go to class and listen to the interesting talks that my classmates did, and I became less and less nervous after every talk I made.”

•Casey R: “Well once I got into the class I loved every minute of it. I loved getting up in front of the class because they are such great people that they are in no way rude or disrespectful and they help you feel more comfortable up there. Whenever you ask a question they respond with enthusiasm just to help you along in any way they can.”

•Joey L: “Of all the courses that I have taken so far at [school] I definitely believe that Effective Speaking has been the best, “funnest,” and most helpful one. I love the fact that the class is based on all positives. It is really wonderful to hear about the good things you did and how great your talk was. Hearing the positives boosts the confidence of the speaker and helps them become more relaxed.”

•Adam L: “Effective Speaking is one of the best courses/decisions I have ever made.”

•Stephen K: “I loved this class because it was all hands on, no lecturing involved.”

•Monique D: “You have taught me that no matter how great you are, you can always become better. I also learned that you have to find what’s special within you and then others will love you for who you are.

I have come to realize that if I have just an ounce of confidence you can move mountains. Effective Speaking should be a required course because it opens up your heart to what the world has to offer.”

•Jen O: “This class by far was my favorite class and one of the most helpful for my future.”

•Erica T: “Who would have thought that I would have come out of my shell in front of a room the way I did. This class also helped me see a whole other side of people that I would normally just walk by and not even give a thought about. This was a real personal class to the fact that some of my classmates opened up to all of us and shared personal experiences. I learned how not to show the fact that I am nervous because if I do I would be eaten alive in a positive way.”

•Chris C: “...I don’t want to leave the class at all.”

•Pat G: “Effective Speaking is hands down the class that has had the most impact on me throughout high school. I could go on about how well my ability to speak has improved and how effective speaking is so important. Everybody already knows how important it is and how the class helps students become more comfortable speaking in public. I would speak of something I noticed about how the class affected some of the kids I know.

What I saw was the changes in people’s personalities. Shy people who would barely speak loud enough for you to hear them were screaming in your face at the end of the course. Some of the most impersonal people were able to share some truly personal stories with the class. Also one of the most “unoutgoing” person in our class has changed completely. The way I see it is she changed from the things that went on in the class. She was forced to get up in front of class and talk to everyone. So this class may not be the most challenging or have the most work, but I feel that it’s had the most impact on me and many of the other students.”

•Steve H: “The class is not public speaking; it’s effective speaking. This class affected my life sufficiently. I am no longer afraid of speaking in public. My goal is to become an officer in the United States Marine Corp. Because of the course, I have more confidence now than I had before.”

•AJ J: “Effective Speaking to me is one of the most important classes in our school.”

•Michael A: “This course was my favorite course throughout this year.”

•Jill P: “I think every student should have to take the class because it teaches you how to speak in front of a room and actually feel comfortable. It teaches you to be prepared and how to relate to the audience. It teaches you how to stand, speak, move, etc.”

•Adam K: “What does one learn in 12+ years of education? Ideally, one learns how to add, subtract, read, write, and other tidbits pertaining to science, history, etc. Something is missing. There is something that we take part in everyday of our lives, yet 12+ years of education refuses to recognize it. Of course, I am referring to the art of speaking. The spoken word is indeed one of the most beautiful artistic talents in this world. With words we can cause others to shed a tear of sadness, crack a smile of hope, or conduct themselves in whichever manner they choose to feel after hearing our words float out of our mouths.

What I am trying to get at here, is that while math may play a part in 40% of the actions in our lives, talking is involved in 90% of the actions found in our day. Whether we are giving a speech, speaking with a friend, or even talking to ourselves, it is still there. It almost seems insane to not to help mold something as important as the spoken word, which plays such a huge role in our lives, during our years of schooling. By this you are obviously avoiding a sect of children that excel in the spoken word, which in turn does not allow their talents to grow.

I know this, because I was one of those children. The reason I “was” one of them is because I happened to take the class known as Effective Speaking. This class gave me ideas and led me in the right direction on how to channel my abilities. The many little “knick-knacks” that I have learned in that class proved their worth rather quickly.

I had to deliver a speech in front of a semi-large audience of perhaps 50 people or so. I went in with some butterflies in my stomach, but surprisingly calm. I delivered perhaps the best speech of my life, not that I would think so, but the compliments I received convinced me that this class is the reason for my success. Without it I would have gone in totally ignorant to the audience’s needs. That night was perhaps my proudest moment, for not only was I given the honor to speak, but also proved that the faith they put in me was not a mistake on their part. I have Effective Speaking and [the teacher] to thank for my proud moment “in the sun.