It’s our local You Be The Chemist! shindig. My company is sponsoring it. I’m all for it, it’s neat, chemistry is neat and I’d like to really make a good impression and get these kids fired up about chemistry, engineering and science! Woo! fist-pump First for the kids with an interest in science (I think it’s about 40 kids from local schools that were interested enough to participate, there’s a quiz game and a dinner as well) but secondly for our CEO who will be watching me give this speech.
I’m actually fine with public speaking. I’ve done it often, given presentations to corporate boards, scientists, engineers, the whole gamut. Even did debate back in HS and won some state awards. Giving a speech doesn’t worry or bother me. I don’t need to “picture everyone in their underwear”, especially since these are kids and man, that’s just not right. I can speechify just fine.
What I’m unsure about - these are kids, age 12-14. I was a kid age 12-14 once, but it’s been 20 years since then. Honestly I have no idea what tone to take or what really gets youths this age interested. Don’t have children of my own yet, have basically zero contact with adolescents. All I remember about that age is just how awkward I always felt and acted.
Any teachers, parents, coaches, tutors, mentors, anything - got any advice on how to craft a good speech that will interest young people of these ages?