Public Speaking Games

Mr Stiggins entertains: Pickwick Papers - Dickens

If you're looking for fun-filled speech activities for your class check these out.

There are 7 public speaking games here. You'll find they're very adaptable to suit children of all ages; that is from around middle school to adulthood.

Use them in your class room, with the members of your speech club, or as an extension activity for a life skills or communications program. They'll help by-pass the fear factor, develop and nurture competent, confident public speaking skills, and do it with a large dollop of fun!

* If you're not sure about how to introduce these games to your class or group, scroll down to the foot of the page. You'll find 'how to begin' guidelines there.

1. Connect the Dots

abacus beads

Prepare a collection of word cards each with a familiar noun on it. You'll need at least 100.

For example: bird, wheelbarrow, hammer, cow, witch, moon, grass, hat, elephant, computer, book, vase, photo, candlestick, shoe, painting, mug, plane, eclipse, operation, halo, knife, eye, storm, girl, pillow, lid, thermometer, jungle, barn, wheel, thistle, steam, mud ...

Put the word cards into box or non-see through bag.

A player picks two cards and then must tell a story connecting both words together convincingly. The story needn't be long, complicated or true.

Once your class is comfortable with connecting two words, add to your word collection and increase the number of cards selected to three or even four.

2. The History of ...

USA postage stamp Christmas 1941

Prepare a starter list of events or things.

For example: a postage stamp, birthday cake, books, a zebra's stripes, a chimney, the tooth fairy, common sayings like 'a penny for your thoughts', 'a red rag to a bull', 'a pinch and a punch for the first of the month',
April Fools Day, a wheel, a Christmas tree, ice cream, a ladder, Father Christmas, May Day, a siren, shaking hands on meeting someone ...

Each speaker is to give an account of the history (story) behind the thing or event. It needn't be factual! The goal of this public speaking game is credible fluency.

3. End lines

End sign

Prepare a list of endings.

For example: 'Just do it', 'Diamonds are forever', 'He's fallen in the water', 'Some like it hot', 'His bark is worse than his bite', 'Love makes the world go round', 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away', 'First up, best dressed', 'King for a day', 'Funny money', 'Laughter is the best medicine'...

Each speaker is to tell a story ending with the line they've been given.

4. Story Starters

Lightning flash over a building on a dark and stormy night

Prepare a list of opening sentences or phrases.

For example: 'It was a dark and stormy night', 'I wish people would not say ...', 'Yesterday I saw a herd of cows ', 'My favorite activity is bird watching', 'The wisest saying I ever heard was ...', 'In 20 years time I will be ...', 'It made me yell', 'All I want for Christmas is ...', 'Something is terribly wrong ...', 'The little voice inside my head ...', 'This is the secret I've never shared before', 'I never knew what happened ...', 'Sometimes I just want to ...', 'You know it's Summer when ...', 'Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you', 'The story made me want to ...','I heard the best news this morning', 'The sound of people laughing ...'

Each speaker begins with their opener, building a story and extending it however they wish.

5. Oink Substitution

A pink pig in a paddock

In this game choose a commonly used word to substitute with 'oink'.
For example: If the chosen word is I, the speaker says oink instead.

Note: Oink is best played as an extension of already known public speaking games for instance, Story Starters or End Lines. Once your group is confident, add the 'oink' factor for even more fun! You'll find substitution hones thinking-while-you're-speaking skills really well.

6. The BIG Fat Lie

Surreal Eiffel Tower

This game fosters imagination, fluency and fun. In playing it your group will learn about body language too! How do you know when somebody is lying? How can you tell?

Each speaker is to share 3 things about themselves on a theme you set.

Examples of theme: holidays, the future, my favorite after school activities, when I was young, my beliefs, the best books I've read, the best adventures I've had ..., my family ...

Two of the things they say about themselves are to be true. The third is not.

When they've finished speaking, ask the class to identify the lie.

PS. This makes a great icebreaker for groups getting together for the first time.

7. In the News Today

A newspaper stand

In the last activity making up of this collection of 7 public speaking games, your class are broadcasters, anchor people for a news show.

The news is whatever has happened during the day. It could be an event on the way to school like a traffic jam. It might be a new menu in the canteen or lunch room. It could be an announcement the principal made.

It doesn't matter how trivial the happening; encourage the big news treatment for anything at all, even a new set of pencils!

The aim of the exercise is give whatever subject they choose the standard news format. They'll need to cover who, what, where, why, when and how. Once they've mastered that encourage experimentation; adding introduction hooks, on-the-spot interviews, switch backs and summaries.


Ebook cover: Public Speaking Games

If you liked these games ...

You'll love my book!

28 public speaking games (with many more variations and extensions), full instructions, PLUS printable topic, tongue twister, poem and image sheets.

A complete one-stop-select-print-go public speaking resource for busy people.

Find out more.


Before you begin

  • If your class is new to playing public speaking games start with the simple activities first, for example, the Story Starters.
  • Model or demonstrate each game before you ask them to play themselves.
  • If it's too threatening to have the entire focus of the class on one person at a time - split into smaller groups of 4-6 players. It will be rowdy but worth it!
  • Establish your ground rules for positive participation. You can check out the ones I used in my teaching here: rules for public speaking games
  • Include full class quickfire feedback sessions at the end of each game. I found these invaluable for drawing attention to and reinforcing what had been done well.
  • Keep the timing snappy.

For more freebie fun-filled public speaking games to play with your class:

What's the difference between the freebie public speaking games pages and the book?

The book has the best of all the games on my site (including the ones on the pages above) and then some more. Plus, it has full instructions for using each of the games and printables. It is the type of one-stop-time-saving resource I wanted to find when I was full time teaching and didn't. My freebie pages are good but if your commitment to leading/teaching a public speaking class is ongoing, the book is better.

Why not check it out?






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