A Skill Builders club (recommended for children ages 6-9) is a great place to begin learning public speaking skills.
We modify the more businesslike Speakers League format of impromptu speaking, prepared speeches, and speech evaluations, by weaving in warm-up activities, learning games, and even a snack break, to provide a fun, individually-paced, progressively-challenging environment to learn public speaking skills and meeting management.
Although Skill Builders clubs are adult led, the presence of a parent or other adult aide may be required to ensure any needs are met that might arise for the member. Additionally, parents are expected to ensure that their children are prepared for their roles at meetings.
In Skill Builders, each child is seen as an individual and is able to proceed at a pace that is right for him or her.
To see which club your child is right for your child, click here to see our club readiness guidelines.
Enrollment accepted year-round, as long as there is space in the club.
Membership involves paying a one-time $50 registration fee, plus dues of $25 per month, year round, until you withdraw from the club. The club does not meet during July and August.
More info can be found on our FAQ page. Scroll down to read about what happens at a typical meeting.
Irving Skill Builders
1st & 3rd Mondays, Sept – May
Starting September 2019
Irving Debate League
2nd & 4th Mondays, 7pm-9pm
Starting September 2019
Christ Church Irving
1750 E Airport Fwy, Irving, TX 75062
Click here to join
Coppell Skill Builders
1st & 3rd Fridays, Sept – May
Episcopal Church of the Apostles
322 S MacArthur Blvd., Coppell, TX 75019
Club full. Click here to be added to waiting list.
Skill Builders meetings begin with a warm-up activity to get the kids participating and talking. These are generally quick, fun, and creative activities to get everyone into a positive frame of mind for communicating during the meeting.
Meetings follow the same basic format each time. Warm up activity, impromptu speaking opportunities, prepared speeches, snack break, and evaluations. The members are pre-assigned to a specific role at the meeting (these rotate from meeting to meeting). A member might be assigned to be the Timekeeper, Vote Counter, a Speaker, an Evaluator, or the MC, for example. Members learn how to do these roles through a combination of reviewing their member handbook (see sample pages here), training videos, and practice activities in the club. Of course, the club chairperson (the adult supervisor of the club) provides help where needed, as well as the parent or aide.
In addition to the meeting roles mentioned above, Skill Builders members periodically present prepared speeches, starting with the “All About Me” speech, and then the “Just for Fun” speech, and “Exciting Time,” “Prized Possession,” “How To,” and “I Know a Lot About” speeches. Each 3 – 5 minute speech in the Basic Level is geared to develop a different presentation skill, including gestures, vocal variety, visual aids, etc. There are three levels in Skill Builders – Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.
While many children in the club develop a readiness for a regular Speakers League club by around age 10, and eventually transfer, some members remain with Skill Builders until they age out by turning 13.
To see if Skill Builders is right for your child, click here to see our club readiness guidelines.
The adult supervisor of the club is called the club Chairperson. Skill Builders’ Chairperson is Julia Morgan. She homeschooled her two children who are in college now (SMU and UT Dallas). Julia is the founder of the Speakers League organization, and continues to work in consultation with people in the field of child development to fine-tune the Skill Builders curriculum. Both professional and personal experience have given Julia the opportunity to learn how to tailor resources in academics for various abilities, which is the goal of Skill Builders.
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