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The First Note
Think of the successful leaders you know. They probably have one trait in common – the ability to communicate effectively.
Students need the Communication Public Speaking Leadership Academy (CPSL Academy) program so they can grow to meet the challenges of adulthood and leadership successfully. Communication Public Speaking Leadership Academy (CPSL Academy) helps young people build their communication and leadership skills so they may become tomorrow's leaders in business, industry and the community.
Each CPSL Academy program group is limited to 10 to 20 people (groups over 10 split into smaller subgroups for parts of the meeting). That way, each person receives individual attention and has the opportunity to get practical experience. Applicants submit a request to participate to the organizer. The program is not an award to honor those who already have become leaders. It’s designed for the much larger group who are still working on communication skills. Participants are selected for what they can become, not for what they already have done. Often teenagers want the course as a supplement to their high school education, or to prepare for college.
The adult with overall responsibility for the program is the coordinator. He or she works closely with any cooperating organization and attends each meeting, conducting most of the training and counseling participants. The coordinator has an assistant who conducts discussions and substitutes for the coordinator, should he or she be unable to attend a meeting.
How it Works
The program is presented in school semester segments during or after school, or on weekends. Each session usually lasts one hour. Activities taking place in the sessions include the following:
Evaluation of present speaking ability
Discussion of leadership principles
Presentation of speeches
Discussion of speech organization
Discussion and practice in listening
Discussion of gestures in speaking
Discussion of voice and vocabulary
Exercise in leadership
Generally, meetings follow an announced agenda and participants learn and practice parliamentary procedure during each meeting. Lecturing is minimal, but discussion is held during each session. Class members are assigned duties on a rotating basis, so everyone is actively involved. Participants also deliver impromptu and prepared speeches. In every meeting, participants learn to apply the principles of listening, thinking and speaking.
Every young person has the potential to become a good communicator and leader, but this potential needs to be developed. The program's unique semester, workshop-style design enables participants to develop this potential through practical experience.
The program is not in competition with school programs or courses, or other established youth projects. Instead, it's a supplement to these programs, providing emphasis on specialized speaking and leadership skills, and individual needs. Participants learn to:
Overcome nervousness when speaking before an audience.
Organize and present ideas logically and convincingly.
Listen carefully to others' ideas.
Offer advice to help others improve their speaking and leadership skills.
Participate in - and even lead - group discussion or meetings.
Participants increase their self-confidence as they learn. They also make new friends and have fun. Public speaking is an enjoyable learning experience!
How to Start a Program
CPSL Academy may be conducted for scout troops, 4-H clubs, church youth groups and many other organizations, and for young people in the community. Locations can be at schools, libraries, community centers, public facilities open to community, etc.
A local Girl or Boy Scout Troop, local schools, PTA organizations, libraries, corporates, etc. serves as sponsor and provides the experienced leaders needed to present the program. These adults are patient and understanding; they remember their own struggles with youthful issues and work well with students as a result.