One Minute Speeches – A Game to Practice Public Speaking Skills

public speaking skillsBeing able to organize your thoughts and express them concisely in a short period of time is a valuable skill that children can use their entire lives. With younger children, you can set the foundation of Public Speaking skills through game play.  These are skills you can practice anywhere and need no special equipment other than perhaps a watch – perfect for long car trips, waiting in-line or when a scheduled activity wraps up early.

You can do this in a non-threatening environment to give kids the skills and confidence they need for giving speeches and presentations in school and beyond.

My idea came from my Dad. I remember on car trip, when I was very young, My dad and I were driving to the lake to meet my mom and that week I was convinced my life ambition was to become Prime Minister of Canada (still not a bad ambition). My dad kept me talking the entire way by giving me topics and asking me questions about “What I would do if I was Prime Minister” and allowing me to make speeches. He didn’t once laugh at my ideas or say that what I wanted to do was impossible. Thanks for the inspiration, Dad!

One Minute Speeches:
You can do this one-on-one with your child, in a small group, or even a classroom setting.

Give the person who will be making the speech a topic and give them 30 seconds planning time to come up with 3 to 5 points they would like to cover. Then, give them 1 minute to present their speech and encourage them to remember that all good speeches should have an introduction, defined points and a closing. You can brainstorm the topics together or as a group first if you like.

One minute may seem like a very short time if you are use to talking a lot. It might seem like a very long time if you are on the quiet side. The 1 minute time limit is there to train you to choose your words and points thoughtfully, but you can always extend the time to mix things up.

Give the speaker a signal when they have 10 seconds left. This lets them know that it is time to start wrapping up. After each person goes, offer constructive feedback.

This is a great activity that allows you to look of a topic from many different viewpoints. It is also fun because you will discover that the same word or topic will take two different people in two totally different directions depending on their frame of reference.


Debate Speeches – If you have two or more people, you can each take a side of a topic or issue and take turns presenting your side in a one minute speech.

One Minute Wrap Up – I have ended classes where I have had everyone present a one minute speech based on what they had learned or the class material covered. This is a great way to review and internalize lessons. It also provides great feedback for the teacher.

One Minute Speech chain – If you have a larger group, you can all make one minute speeches on the same topic. The challenge is you can not repeat a point that someone else has already made. This means you have to listen and think quickly on your feet, especially if you are towards the end of the line!

Here are some random topics you could use for One Minute Speeches:

Cars  –  Princesses  –  Travel  –  Life lessons  –  Poetry  –  Growing vegetables  –  Children  –  Books  –  Heroes  –   Computers  –  Memories  –  Colors  –  Food  –  Dreams  –  Sports  –  Holidays  –  Confidence  –  Trust  –  Hobbies  –  Planes  –  Art  –  Keys  –  Houses  –  Stars  –  Hazelnuts

Can you think of any new variations to One Minute Speeches? Please leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

Posted in Activites/Games.


  1. Very informative.
    Using this site my son practiced and won SECOND place in his fifth grade public speaking
    Thank you SO MUCH

    • Fantastic, Beverley! Congratulations to your son, that is a big accomplishment! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment 🙂

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