Junior Speakers League clubs (recommended for children ages 7-9) are a great place to begin learning public speaking skills.
The club meetings are very similar in format to Speakers League meetings, with opportunities for impromptu speaking, prepared speeches, and speech evaluations, but the club Chairperson is more hands-on in JSL, making sure the members are ready for, and understand what’s going on at the meetings.
The Member Handbook is simpler in JSL and the members have a worksheet for all speeches they give, to help them achieve the goals of the speech, for example using gestures or vocal variety or visual aids. Like Speakers League, JSL is a progressively-challenging environment to learn public speaking skills and meeting management.
There are three levels in Junior Speakers League – Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. To move from one level to the next, members must successfully give all six speeches in that level, and do each role at the meeting (like Evaluator, Vote Counter, Timekeeper, MC, etc.) successfully, at least once, during that level.
Although Junior Speakers League 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.
To see if your child is ready for Junior Speakers League, click here to see our club readiness guidelines.
Enrollment is accepted year-round, as long as there is space in the club.
Membership involves paying a one-time $50 registration fee, plus dues of $35 per month (or $350 if paid annually), year round, until you withdraw from the club. Club dues include participation in the SLAM Online event that is held in late May or early June each year. 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.
The members are pre-assigned to a specific role at each 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 observing how the roles are done during the club meetings. Of course, the club chairperson (the adult supervisor of the club) provides help where needed, as well as the parent or aide, if necessary.
Meetings follow the same basic format each time. The club Chairperson reviews the schedule and makes sure that all of the members are ready for their role that day and have any necessary forms.
In addition to the meeting roles mentioned above, Junior Speakers League members periodically present prepared speeches, starting with the “All About Me” speech, and then the “Focus on Gestures” speech, and “Focus on Vocal Variety,” “Focus on Visual Aids,” “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 Junior Speakers League – 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 JSL until they age out by turning 13.
To see if JSL is right for your child, click here to see our club readiness guidelines.
The adult supervisor of the club is called the club Chairperson. Junior Speakers League’s Chairperson is Julia Morgan. She homeschooled her two children who graduated from SMU and UT Dallas. Julia is the founder of the Speakers League organization, and 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 Junior Speakers League.
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