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Public speaking games ebook

28 + games to build confidence and competence

If you're a teacher or leading a communications group you'll already know the problem with public speaking is not, speaking. It's PUBLIC speaking.

Speaking in private is fine. There it's natural, normal and effortless. Family, friends, colleagues; we talk to them easily.

But swap private for PUBLIC, and ease takes flight.

Children, teenagers, or adults; it makes no difference. The fear of PUBLIC speaking is one-size-fits-all.

There is a solution. And it's playing...


If you've visited write-out-loud.com before you may have found my pages of them.

They're popular for good reason; they do the job, effectively. Fear of talking in front of an audience can be beaten and you can do it with something as simple as a game and a giggle. Learning with laughter is the best there is.

Image: retro cartoon girl excitedly saying - TBH, I love presenting and giving speeches now.  Public speaking games are totally lit.

As a theatre educator, (looking for exercises), I have researched and came across a gazillion different websites, to often times, be disappointed. This is one website that was immediately added to my Bookmark Bar! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have found your website! Your writing is extremely welcoming, friendly and familiar. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Kristy Lenuzza - USA  www.empoweredpathwayscny.org

"Just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU for this amazingly comprehensive site. There's more here than in many paid-for sites. I came looking for some games/exercises to do with a group and I've come away with inspiration on top. I've bookmarked you and will be back - again and again. Thanks again."
Claire - UK www.straightforwardcoaching.com

Now I've collected all those games up (added some more strictly-Susan-specials, plus detailed instructions, printable topic, tongue twister, image, and poem sheets) and put them in one place - a downloadable, printable e-book.

Take a peek!

E-book cover: Public Speaking Games

I found your games ebook fun and useful for my fifth graders. Today we embark on our public speaking unit and your games will be a large part of that.
Jolene Brister, teacher, Chadwick International School, South Korea

Moving from fear to fun

Like me, you will have discovered telling people to stand up straight, breathe, face the audience, make eye contact, speak clearly and smile, isn't particularly effective. It's just more 'blah' that goes in one anxious ear and straight out the other.

But put those same students in a group, take the pressure off solo performance, target one skill at a time, make the vehicle for learning fun and inclusive and everything changes.

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These games may appear silly but they teach serious skills; those underpinning successful public speaking very well. You'll soon find your students have:

  • the confidence to stand and talk freely in front of an audience,
  • the ability to think and respond rapidly, creatively and appropriately,
  • and the awareness to tailor body language and delivery to fit content and audience.

Bobbie Lathrop, Speech Teacher, TRIO program, USA, used these games as warm-ups for her summer class. She reports:
Comments from my students include:
- "I thought this class would be scary, but it's actually fun!"
- "I have never felt comfortable talking in front of people until this class"
- "I actually like this class!"
These are coming from Speech class students! Speech; the thing ranked #1 over death as the scariest thing ever!
Thank you so much for making my class fun and exciting, and not scary!
P.S. We really enjoyed "Expert Interviews", which I was hesitant to try because I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I was so glad I gave it a shot because it was so much fun!

What's in the ebook?

When you purchase this ebook you are getting:

  • 28 games (plus multiple variations and extensions) with full instructions on how to play them,
  • accompanying printable topic, poem, tongue twister, and image sheets where needed to play a game,
  • and, guidelines for use covering the physical space needed, optimum group size, timing, how to demonstrate the games, set student guidelines, conduct positive and valuable feedback sessions, select, introduce, prepare and evaluate a game.

In all there are 33 hyperlinked pdfs. That's one main PDF and 32 printable resource files.

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Review excerpt:

"I use this outstanding and clear resource to much success for both college-level men and women of different cultural backgrounds. In addition to learning in the guise of creative fun, I use these games to enliven long sessions with activity and community."

N. Tabor (Baltimore, Maryland USA)

Click to read the full review

With clickable cross-referenced interlinking

For ease of use, time and sanity saving, the ebook is extensively cross-linked and the games are classified by:

  • focus point: 21 of them; including awareness of vocabulary, topic, fluency, audience, listening skills, eye contact, body language, vocal variety, structure, and transitions
  • function; warm-ups, story telling or impromptu speeches
  • skill level; beginner, experienced or both making it easy to choose the game(s) you need for your classes.

Click the preview button to see for yourself.

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Who are these games for?

They are generally targeted toward students in the middle school and above range, including adults. You'll find them easily adaptable to fit your context: school, work place or community group. Although they are not specifically designed for non-native English speakers people in this category will benefit from playing them too.

"My students are 8th graders - a tough crowd to engage, but these games are working very well. They are in the middle of a public speaking unit, and are having to give speeches in front of their classmates. The games are great practice and great "sponge activities". I am glad I stumbled across your website in my never-ending search for resources."
Sandy Harris, John Boise Middle School, Warsaw, Missouri, USA

Attention US based teachers

For you there's a 4 page section on aligning the games with the Common Core Standards (CCS).

You'll find all the relevant CCS for Grades 6-12 with links back into their source on the Common Core Standards web site if you want more information.

I have been a full-time teacher too...

...so I know what it's like to be busy and this is the type of practical one-stop-read-choose-print-and-go resource I longed to find.

Everything you need to know about how to set up and play public speaking games is here, ready and available on your screen. Even the resources! You do not have to scurry about finding images, or sorting out topics. It's all done for you. Click, and print.

What if I'm an inexperienced or new to leading a group? Is this e-book suitable for me?

Absolutely it is! If you're looking for ways to lessen your anxiety about teaching public speaking and the stress your student's typically undergo while learning it, then you'll be prepared to give games a go. Start with the simpler activities and build - learn alongside your pupils. They'll love, and thank you for it! Truly, everything you need to begin is here.

"I love this ebook! It's so much fun and so helpful. The speech and presentation games are great for people of all ages who want to learn how to get over their fears of speaking in front of others or just want to become a lot better. Susan Dugdale tells you step-by-step how to put these exercises into practice and make it fun and rewarding for for the students and the teacher."
G. Ebisu, Attorney and Speech Coach, California.

Public speaking. Two words. Only one of them is a challenge and it's not speaking. You can help them solve their difficulties with the other, PUBLIC, by playing these games.

Have you taken a look?

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There's a great example of a game, plus a printable, in the preview pdf.

Safe place purchasing

I want you to be happy with your purchase and the download process.

If you find this ebook of public speaking games is not what you need, or what you thought it was, email me within 30 days of buying it and I'll refund your full purchase price.

If you run into problems with the download process contact me via my product support page. I'll sort it out for you as fast as possible.

Please note before you buy: this ebook is NOT available in hard copy.

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Lindsey Petropoulos, Speech & Debate Coach Teacher, Rice Middle School, Plano, Texas, USA, says:
"Hi, Just wanted to tell you that I am really enjoying your e-book. I teach middle school speech and theatre and also coach the speech and debate teams. The kids are so engaged in the games. Thanks for this fantastic resource!"


E-book cover: Public Speaking Games

"Your materials provide great structure and content examples and my students have experienced a drastic improvement.
The most important thing about these drills is that they help the kids lose that "I NEED TO HAVE PERFECT CONTENT" anxiety. That, in my eyes, is the most difficult hurdle. Once they aren't being judged on what they are saying, the comfort level increases immensely. Thank you so much!
I hope more people gain the same benefits my kids did."

Joseph Ahart, Attorney and high school mock trial team coach, Redding, Shasta County, California, USA.

Getting the ebook

Please note - You are buying an instantly available downloadable ebook (pdf) and 32 resource files (pdfs).

(Please also note that this ebook is NOT available in hard copy.)

After you have paid:

Step 1. You will be automatically returned from the PayPal thank you page to a special page on this site containing the ebook link.

Step 2. Click the link and download the ebook to your computer. When you open it and click on the resource file links within it, you'll gain access to the 32 supporting pdfs.