Much like riding a bike public speaking is a skill that is best learned through practice. And what happens when we enjoy doing something that we do? We do it more often.
So here are 15 fun public speaking activities that you can do, either by yourself or with a group of people or if you are running a class you can use this using with your students as well. (more public speaking activities here)
What Are The 15 Fun Public Speaking Activities?
I truly believe that making public speaking fun is one of the things that are going to take an average public speaker and give then enough practice to turn them into a good or great public speaker.
1. My Friend’s Fictional Life
In this activity, what you do is you get up in front of people (you can do it home by yourself as well) and you take one of your friends and you introduce them. However, instead of introducing them in the normal way you make up a fictional life for them.
So you say, hi this is Jane Smith, and she actually moonlights as a jazz pianist for the underground mafia. And you talk about her life, whatever it may be.
So this is fun because it makes you been creative, it’s very easy to think of these things on the spot and just roll with it. It’s generally pretty funny as well.
2. Impromtu Game
You basically just get up in front of people and somebody gives you something impromptu to run with.
It might be a topic, it might be a sentence or it might just be a single word or anything like that. But generally we run with just a certain topic.
For example: They need to talk about climate change or they need to talk about what makes a great teacher, or they need to talk about social media changes or whatever. So that the impromptu game.
3. Funny Image Game
This is similar to the impromptu game, but basically what you do is you give the speaker a funny image; you can find these easily just searching through Google and you get them to talk about that image.
You can pretend it’s their life experience and how this impacted my life or they can talk about why this image is important and what this image means or what’s the story behind this image.
4. Continuous Story
This is best done with a group of people. Each person gets up and might speak for anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute and they start telling a story.
And when their time is up, the next person has to get up and they have to continue the story.
So, obviously each person doesn’t know what the person before them is going to say and so they have to continue the story.
The goal of this is to make the story make sense. This game helps people engage in listening and learn to be creative enough to make the story continue on and make sense.
5. Something In My Wallet
You can use your own wallet or (if people are comfortable enough and happy to do it) you can get the person sitting next to you’s wallet.
Take an item out of the wallet and discuss what this item is and why its important and obviously you are trying to elaborate and make it funny as much as possible.
6. Action Story
This can be done in 2 ways.
A) You tell a story that has a whole great of actions in it and as a speaker you have to do these actions yourself whilst speaking.
B) Or the audience has to do the actions themselves while the speaker is giving their speech.
So you could say; I did a big stretch when I woke up in the morning. And everybody has to stretch. And then you say, I put on my hat, and everybody has to do the actions in line with that.
7. Make A Commercial
Get a bunch of things from your room or from your house, bring them in and you need to make a commercial about these items.
Someone is giving a random product. It might be a deodorant, might be an iphone, it could be anything. And then they are required to give a 30 second to 1 minute commercial on this product and talk about why this is so awesome and why people should buy it. So that’s a really fun one as well.
8. A Fake Holiday
This one is done with images primarily and a set of images that are related to each other.
So it could be a farm where you have images of animals, or the barn house or something funny happening on the farm.
The speaker is required to tell maybe 1, 2 or 3 sentences for each image and then you click forward to the next image.
Then they need to use the next image to continue the story.
So you are using these images as the key cards, as to where the story needs to go so the person needs to adapt the story based on the images that are given.
9. Alternative Ending
You take a well known TV show or a well-known movie. And what you do is you create an alternative ending for it.
10. Connect The Nouns
This is really a fun one, I really like this one.
You can do this by either putting nouns on key cards shuffling them up and picking 2 up at a time or you can use this random noun generator.
You get 2 nouns and you then have to create a story that connects that 2 nouns.
So it might be ‘a sheep’ and ‘a mechanic’ or it could be ‘friend’ and ‘shoelace’.
Then you have to create a story that connects those 2 nouns together.
11. How It Got It’s Name
Take an item (for example: packing tape) and you need to create a story around a packing tape and why it’s got its name that way.
You have to make it exciting.
12. Oink Substitution
When you are giving a speech you must allocate one word that you have to replace with word ‘oink’. Or you can use ‘moo’ or you use ‘woof’ or whatever it is that you want.
So you can use the word ‘I’ and replace it with ‘oink’.
So you would say: “Oink went to the movies and oink bought some popcorn.” And so you replace that word ‘I’ with ‘oink’.
This challenges your mind, and it makes that little bit harder to deliver a presentation. And it’s pretty funny for the audience, as well.
13. Which Is A Lie?
This one is generally pretty easy to out work and a lot of fun as well. And you will find that some students do it really well, but then some students just fumble when they are tying to lie and its quiet humorous to watch.
A person gets up and tells 3 truths about themselves, but 2 of them need to be true and one of them needs to be a lie.
So they get up and they tell 3 things about themselves and then the audience needs to choose which one was a lie and they see if they were correct.
So this one is really quick, really easy and you don’t have to go into a great detail about it but it can be really fun.
Get really big words that nobody really knows what the meaning is. You can do this using this big word generator or another tool (just Google it). Or you can just go through the dictionary and pick some strange ones yourself.
The speaker has to get up – they are given this strange word and they need to with confidence tell the class what this word means.
Obviously they are making it up, but they need to do it confidently.
You give a person an ending. It could be a saying: “Diamonds are forever” or an ending to a story ‘and the man cried for 3 days’.
You give them an ending and they have to create a story that matches up with that ending.
A lot of being a great pubic speaking is about story telling. Teaching people how to creatively think up stories on the spot is going to make them a better public speaker.
I have previously talked about how public speaking rubric actually damages the progression of public speaking skills. We need to continually practicing public speaking (like riding a bike) and have it be fun if we want to teach people to be great public speakers. Technique comes along with that.
So keep that in mind, keep public speaking fun and I hope that you enjoyed these activities.