Why Public Speaking and Forensics should be Required Courses in High School

Forensics and Public Speaking Equals A+ in Life After High School
When the average person hears the word “forensics” they think of a CSI show, or forensics science. The official dictionary definition is “pertaining to, connected with, or used in courts of law or public discussion and debate.” This is also the definition that is used and appreciated at my former high school, Powers Catholic in Flint, Michigan.
My experiences with forensics class happened by fate. I went to my counselor in hopes of being places in an acting class, and when he told me that they were full, I was quite disappointed. He offered that I take forensics class, because it was similar and it would be a good class to take to prepare me for college. I accepted reluctantly. It wasn’t until I went to a forensics competition that I really started to appreciate the class.
Forensics at Powers Catholic involved a plethora of speech activities where the students had to use a creative mindset. I think all students should be exposed to this type of learning in high school. Yes, you can unleash creativity in art classes, but not everyone in high school is artistic. Everyone in high school does have an imagination, however, and an imagination is a terrible thing to waste.
In class, we were also given the opportunity to write our own material in the categories of Prose, Poetry, and Story telling. We then entered the Original Interpretation competition that was held at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. At this competition, I placed fourth in the category of Prose. I surprised myself greatly by my achievements, and I know other students would too. As students we are exposed to so many different influences that we never really know our full potential until we try absolutely everything under the sun.
Forensics is not just about finding a new talent. In life, we all need public speaking skills. We will need to know how to speak properly for college interviews, first impressions, and most importantly, to gain jobs in our future.
Also, public speaking is a common fear among high school students. It was Jerry Seinfeld who said, “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
I believe it is best to face your fear and take forensics in high school, than to risk ruining one’s future because one isn’t prepared.