We began by watching Nancy Duarte's video on the secret behind great talks. She argues that all of the world's great speeches alternate back and forth between a "what is" and a "what could be." How perfect for standing up for the voiceless.
My students chose topics that they were passionate about. We created sexy slides (thanks, Unsplash!), and we practiced. We said our speeches pacing back and forth on stage. We practiced with our shoes tied together. We shared with each other. We said it to the air.
But then we took it to the stage. Under the lights, with a microphone, using a clicker. And their voices brought power.
"Be strong in your opinion, but do it with wisdom, not foolishness, and do it with respect to those who have lost their lives fighting for the opportunity for you to speak out."
"Disregard everything, and run after what you love."
"How can you stop stereotypes and judging others?"
"I've never have had to worry about working or staying at home to cook or clean. All I've ever had to do is show up and learn."
"Instead of indulging in our own negative emotions and then affecting the people around us, we should learn how to release our emotions in another way."
"There are more than 63 million orphans around the world."
"Shoot for the stars, and never give up, living your worth, your voice, and your dreams."
I could go on and on and on. These students blew my mind with their poise and passion as they took the stage, the opportunity and the microphone empowering them to make a difference.
Our students just need a chance to be heard. To share their passions. To ask their questions. To make a difference. Let's give them a microphone!