Public Speaking Herons

  • Experienced Students Only
  • Days
  • Years 5 - 6

This workshop, which changes every holiday, helps students develop different specific skills relating to public speaking.

Over the January holidays, the focus will be on Textual Analysis Speeches.

Student to Teacher Ratio 9:1
Course Objectives
  • Provide students with an opportunity to develop their skills in a novel public speaking setting.

  • Expose students to more advanced theory sessions that focus on a specific public speaking concept.

  • Give students plenty of opportunities to practice their speaking skills and receive feedback.

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Register your interest for our upcoming Holiday programs.

Course Overview

Bookings for the Winter Workshops opening in late May – Register your interest to join the fun here

Formerly Public Speaking Hawks


The world of public speaking is vast – we all speak to audiences in a range of different circumstances, from a chat in the playground to school assemblies to workplace meetings.  Every presentation, impromptu or prepared, requires a wide range of different skills.  Our Public Speaking Herons program seeks to help students close those gaps and flourish in their own way.

This program changes every holiday, allowing students to practice and develop a much wider range of public speaking skills – our focuses are:

  • Summer Holidays – Textual Analysis Speeches;
  • Autumn Holidays – Impromptu Speeches;
  • Winter Holidays – Mock Trials; and
  • Spring Holidays – Speaking Manner.

Whilst it’s recommended that students give each of these focuses a try, there is no particular need to start with any of them, meaning students are welcome to join at any time!

As with all our programs, we make sure that every classroom environment is nurturing for each individual, and that all the activities are lots of fun for all students! This is the perfect course for anyone looking to develop their speaking skills in a novel and exciting context!

During the April holiday period, we will be providing a two-day program that places the focus squarely on impromptu speeches.

Whilst touched upon in all our courses (including our beginner Public Speaking Honeyeaters program), impromptu speaking is a different skill from the type of prepared speeches that students are often taught.  Rather than giving students the opportunity to consider their topic well in advance of delivering their presentation, impromptu speeches involve giving students only a few minutes (if any time at all) to give a talk on a randomly allocated topic.

Learning to think on your feet, not to mention speaking with confidence under pressure, is an invaluable skill that benefits students in school, work and their social lives.  Impromptu speaking is one of the best ways to develop these skills.

Whilst children appear to not be at particularly high risk from COVID-19, SSA places their safety (and the safety of our coaches) as our highest priority.  This emphasis on safety is the first tier of our teaching policy.

We generally consider the risk of transmission at our programs to be very unlikely.  This is for three reasons:

  1. From a general perspective, whilst children are not immune, they do show substantially milder symptoms than adults, and appear to catch and transmit the virus at lower rates.
  2. Despite high vaccination levels, the Government is still acting cautiously in removing restrictions – most people who catch the virus are quarantined, as are any known close contacts, which has significantly limited the spread of the virus.
  3. We have put in place a range of extra protections that are reviewed continuously for best practice, and seek to keep students as safe as possible.

We have prepared our COVID-19 Action Plan, which outlines the three methods we are using to keep students safe.

Whilst you are very welcome to read the Action Plan in full, the four elements are:

  1. Vaccination – all of our onsite staff are fully vaccinated, so they pose a substantially reduced risk to our students;
  2. Symptom Testing – whilst we instruct all parents not to send students displaying symptoms (or awaiting test results), we will be using temperature checks and coach training to ensure that any students who show symptoms are isolated and removed from programs;
  3. Limited Exposure – there are a range of steps in place to help ensure that students (and parents) socially distance, and limit the chance of spreading the virus; and
  4. Enhanced Sanitation – we have adopted hand and surface cleaning regimens to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, we will also be continuing to offer online programs for the foreseeable future. This will help ensure that parents and students who are uncomfortable with physical classes have an alternative that allows them to feel safe, whilst still receiving a quality education in public speaking and debating.

Please check out our COVID-19 Action Plan here, or get in touch if you have any questions!

Our Public Speaking Herons workshop is an experienced level program.

Designed for students with at least some formal coaching in public speaking, we recommend that students only enrol if:

  • they have completed our Public Speaking Honeyeaters holiday program (or have previously done the Public Speaking Herons program, and want to try one of the other focuses);
  • they have attended at least one of our Public Speaking term programs, such as our Public Speaking Wombats or Public Speaking Parrots weekly programs;
  • they’ve received extensive training with another provider; or
  • they attend a school with a comprehensive public speaking program (that they have completed).

Importantly, debating and public speaking are very different skills – attending a debating program, or participating in a debating program at school, doesn’t really prepare students for this workshop – they would likely be better off giving our Public Speaking Honeyeaters program a try.

If you have any questions about which program would best suit your child, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can help out!

This course seeks to assist students to present solid impromptu speeches by:

  • teaching strategies that allow students to present speeches with minimal preparation time;
  • detailing potential structures that students can use to help develop impromptu speeches in a pinch; and
  • providing students with various opportunities to present to the group and receive individualised feedback.

Day #1

We kick off the first day with some ice breakers, and then a revision of the concepts covered in the Public Speaking Honeyeaters program.  We then move on to the most common fundamental structure for impromptu speeches – the FAT method – and help students develop a range of concepts that they would feel comfortable discussing as part of an unprepared speech.  The day concludes with a number of different speaking activities that consolidate these ideas, and help students reflect upon their impromptu speaking manner.


Day #2

The second day takes students through a range of different structures they might use in addition to the traditional IBC and FAT methods. Students are shown how to adapt stimuli to topics they’re passionate about, as well as topics that encourage them to expand their perspective of others and the world around them. With plenty of opportunities to practice accompanied by coach support and feedback, students will be well-prepared for a final presentation of their own impromptu speech to their peers.

Our classes vary in size every holiday depending on how many bookings we receive – however, the maximum size of our Public Speaking Herons class is 9 students with one coach.

If there aren’t any spots left, it’s usually because we’ve hit capacity – please get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do about either opening an extra class, fitting your child into the existing class, or putting you on a waitlist in case any students pull out!

After each program, students will go home with:

  • a feedback sheet prepared by their coach, which outlines what they’ve improved on during the course, and what they could continue to work on in the future;
  • a certificate recognising that they have completed the Public Speaking Herons workshop;
  • a completed coursebook that contains all of the theory they’ve covered, as well as any notes that they’ve taken; and
  • a much better understanding of a specific skill associated with public speaking!

If you’re interested in doing another holiday program, we would recommend that students move onto either:

  • our Debating Hummingbirds program, which covers the fundamentals of debating – a very different presentation style to public speaking; or
  • our Public Speaking Herons program again – the program changes every holiday (you can find the schedule above), so students will learn something new every time that they do it!

Alternatively, if you’re keen on a weekly term program, we would recommend our Debating Parrots program.  This program goes into more depth on policy debates – a very different skill to public speaking – and will help students further flourish as speakers!

Course Reviews

It was very enjoyable and encouraging for kids to learn public speaking and the Australian legal system.

The topics were very good, and they taught it well.

Aman, Parent Public Speaking Herons

The kids loved it!! The teacher was fantastic!

Lucy-Ellen, Parent Public Speaking Herons
  • After our Summer 2021 programs...

  • 100%

    of Public Speaking Hawks students had fun!

  • 93%

    of Public Speaking Hawks students felt their confidence improved.

  • 93%

    of Public Speaking Hawks students believed their manner improved.

  • 100%

    of Public Speaking Hawks students wanted to come back next time!