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The Public Speaker badge is part of the “It's Your World - Change It!” badge set introduced in 2011. It is featured on the Samoas sash.

Girl Scout Cadettes find their inner performer and lose the fear of speaking up.

Step 1: Get a feel for performing solo Edit

Here’s your chance to try performing alone.  If you’re comfortable reading to friends or family, go for it!  If you’d rather build your skills first, deliver one of these pieces in front of a mirror or into a recorder to hear how you sound.  (You can see how much you’ve grown by comparing these practice runs with your final badge performance.)

CHOICES – DO ONE:

 Read aloud one monologue from three different plays.  A monologue is a long, uninterrupted speech by one actor.  Find here plays you like and choose a long part to read.

OR

 

Read aloud two political speeches.Perhaps they could be about the same issues but from different viewpoints, or great speeches from history.  The American Rhetoric website is a good resource.

OR

 

Read aloud three poems or one short story.You can look for pieces performed at poetry jams or by famous storytellers.

Step 2: Focus on body language Edit

Has a friend ever said, “I’m not mad at you,” but you didn’t believe them?  It probably wasn’t what they said, but how they said it.  Words are only part of a performance – facial expressions and body movements are just as important.  Do at least one of these exercises, focusing on your face and body movements.

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Get a group together and play charades.  Take note of the clues you and others give that work and those that don’t.  During the game be at least eight different things.

OR

 

Videotape yourself miming one animal, one famous person, and one action. Watch it back to see if you were convincing in your role.

FOR MORE FUN:  Make this a game to play with others!

OR

 

Pretend an item is something else. Do this in a group: pick up a simple prop, such as a wooden spoon, a cardboard box, or a cup, and act as if it’s something else.  Each time the item is passed to a new person, it becomes a new thing, and the rest of the group guesses what it is.  Use at least eight different props.

More to Explore

Attend a solo performance.   It might be a speech, debate, solo play, poetry jam, or storyteller’s circle.  When listening watch the performer’s face and body movements closely.  How did the performer hold the audience’s attention? Did they make use of props, hand gestures, or stage movements?

Step 3: Find your voice Edit

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Lea Michele performing "Firework" on the Glee Live! In Concert! tour on June 18, 2011.

Get into more than the words – consider the emotion you’re portraying, the inflection and tone, even the accent you might use.  Practice projecting your voice so your audience can hear you clearly.  When you do one of these exercised record it to evaluate on your own, or do it for others and ask for feedback.

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Repeat one word one sentence, and one passage four times.  Try to communicate a different emotion each of the four times you say them – for instance, excited, embarrassed, lonely, and surprised.

FOR MORE FUN: Pick examples that are difficult to say – words like “chiropractor” and “specificity.”  For sentences, what about tongue twisters? Passages might come from 19th-century political speeches.

OR

 

Tell your own story, from birth until now, in 60 seconds. First, tell it as a simple story.  Then use your tone and inflection to make it into a drama.  Last, make it a comedy.

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Practice impressions of three famous people. Choose people you consider interesting.  Find movies interviews, or other media to listen to.  Then observe each voice carefully.  When does it rise and fall?  Is it high and squeaky or low and deep?

FOR MORE FUN:  Do the impressions for a group and see who can guess who you are!

More to Explore

Pretend you’re a Cadette in 1963.   As girls did to earn their Radio and Television badge, prepare a radio program on Girl Scouting featuring news or drama.  Include sound effects.  For step 5, do your program with a live audience – and record it to share.

Step 4: Choose or create a piece to perform Edit

Now that you’re getting comfortable speaking it’s time to find something to say!  Whether you choose an existing piece for this step or write your own, it should be at least 500 words.

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Write a speech about something in which you believe.In this case, the character you’re playing is you.  The focus is your message.  Do you want to persuade your audience to support a cause or to take action?  What kind of tone should you use?  How can you couple your voice and gestures to educate and inspire?  

OR

 

Create a piece for a character.Choose a character you’d like to play and write a monologue as if you were that character.  Maybe you’d like to be Queen Victoria, a TV news reporter, or a super-confident hip-hop star with a great cause.  You can take on any role you like, so let your imagination go wild!  

OR

 

Pick an existing piece.You can find monologues in many plays or you could choose a passage from a story you love.  Although you haven’t written it, you’ll bring it to life, so you’ll have to think about pacing, voice, and gestures… If you want to perform a published piece, be sure to ask a drama teacher if you need to pay royalties.  (These are fees play-publishing companies charge for use of their material.) 

Step 5: Get onstage! Edit

Make it big or keep it small – it’s time to get in the spotlight!

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Create a theater in your own home.  Perform for Girl Scout friends or family.

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Perform at school.  Ask your teacher if you can perform in front of the class, perhaps for extra credit. If you’re feeling brave and have prepared a speech you want the student body to hear, perhaps you can speak at an assembly.

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Go to your audience.Depending on your topic, there could be a particular group you’d like to educated and inspire.  Take your show to them!

More to Explore

Make it a group performance.   Gather five or six girls who want to perform as soloists and do a show for your group’s parents, school, or community.  Perhaps each girl shares her perspective on the same topic?  Or all the speakers could talk around the same theme – the environment, navigating relationships, or why your group sells cookies.

Success as a storyteller depends on being about to hold the member of her audience from beginning to end; to make them forget that they are sitting on the hard ground or floor and to take them along with her into whatever realm the tale leads.

-Girl Scout Handbook, 1933