The main goal for a guest speaker isn’t just to create a dialogue for a particular topic but also to motivate and offer real-world advice that could significantly impact students during and after high school. Guest speakers offer enlightened perspectives on tough topics (bullying, mental health, depression) typically omitted from regular classrooms and home life. Hiring guest speakers for your high school can help improve your school’s culture and help develop your students.
Are High School Guest Speakers Effective?
A highly effective way to keep students engaged in specific topics is through a high school guest speaker. Guest speakers can connect with students in a role other than school administrators, teachers, and traditional mentors. This perfect balance creates a safe space for students, where they feel more comfortable and empathetic, rather than just listening to another lecture. Therefore, discussing a serious topic while adding humorous undertones can help keep students attentive.
Teaching and Guidance Through Humor
Guest speakers and high school students often have one thing dividing them – a generational gap. This age gap can automatically separate students from understanding their point of view, and sometimes a wall is created between students and the speaker. To break this barrier and develop trust and understanding, speakers will often exude their charisma through humor. Even with darker topics such as suicide prevention or drug abuse, humor has always been a reliable coping mechanism and a way to break any stigmas or judgment. Guest speakers getting a crowd of high school students to laugh is also essential as it keeps students attentive, aware, and willing to hear them out.
High School Guest Speaker Topics
Guest speakers deliver a plethora of different topics with a wide range of potentially relatable content.
- Bullying is a common problem amongst teens that generates both mental health and academic downfalls. Furthermore, this topic is quite broad as it affects the bullies, the victims, witnessing peers, and teachers.
- For some, motivation is their specialty. Guest speakers can touch upon topics relating to goal setting and improving students’ academic future with a fresh perspective.
- Building good character, making the right choices, upholding dignity, and coping with inevitable obstacles are topics that can send a powerful message to students that someone from a different perspective understands.
- Suicide prevention, self-harm, self-esteem, and adversity are topics mostly excluded from classrooms, and this insight is imperative, especially coming from an outsider’s point of view.
Guest Speakers Can Help Students to Succeed in School and Life
Topics that guest speakers touch upon can significantly impact students to move forward in the right direction. These high school assemblies can empower students in their talents as well, whether it’s playing an instrument, competing in a sport, expressing themselves through art, or participating in a play. These activities, associated with the school or not, can significantly impact a student’s success while experiencing an ongoing reward system.
Dealing with Adversity
Adversity in high school can be overwhelming, and in some cases, students can develop depression because of it. Although high school lasts only a few years, at the moment, it can feel like a lifetime for students. Introducing a guest speaker to students gives a fresh perspective and displays how common their problems are.
Motivation for Success
Although guest speakers cover various topics, the ultimate goal for the collective student body is success. While that may mean different things to different people, guest speakers can help create a comfortable setting for students to help them reach their goals – whether through mental health, career paths, personal goals, academics, workshops, or building character.
Mental Health and Empathy
The issue of mental health and empathy is a massive struggle for an average high school student. Keeping in touch with these problems in school settings can promote safety and comfort amongst struggling students. Classrooms or households can omit these sensitive topics, and students often bottle these emotions inside or feel alone in the process. Guest speakers can address this in a way where they confront these problems head-on, creating a safe environment and keeping an open mind. These powerful messages resonate with teenagers and start progressive conversations around these delicate issues.
Drug Abuse and Dropouts
Drug abuse and dropping out of school can be the start to a destructive path, especially for at-risk students. A speaker with real life experience in this area can create a bond with students that is absent in their lives. Through this type of speaker, it is crucial to promote a healthy lifestyle and goals for the future to prevent future drug abuse and school dropouts from occurring.
Preventing Bullying at School
Bullying is a standard topic amongst most high school guest speakers. Bullying can lead to further problems such as severe depression, suicide, self-harm, behavioral issues, low self-esteem, or even drug use. Although students may roll their eyes at the thought of a bullying keynote speech, these discussions can result in positive outcomes between students and staff – victims can feel empowered to talk with school administrators or stand up for themselves.
Improving Campus Culture by Promoting Kindness
Kindness is an overwhelmingly vital trait when it comes to high school students. Youth speakers will incorporate kindness within these motivational discussions to inspire your student body to develop a sense of unity with their peers.
Frequently Asked Questions About High School Speakers
There are many questions you might have before you hire a high school speaker. Here are some answers to a few of them.
How Much Does it Cost to Have a Guest Speaker?
Prices vary depending on the popularity and demand of the specific guest speaker. New speakers may cost between $1,000-$2,500, whereas an experienced and proven speakers could cost $5,000-$15,000. Of course, all pricing is negotiable as travel or the ability to reach multiple schools can play a part in pricing.
Where Can I Find Top High School Guest Speakers?
There are plenty of sites online with extensive lists about high school guest speakers along with their specialties and topics they tend to cover. Some speakers will have a website, blog, or YouTube channel so you can get to know them through the screen first. An example of a well-established high school guest speaker is TEEN TRUTH’s Caleb Campbell. Caleb has an extensive portfolio, testimonials from teachers and administrators and informative YouTube videos displaying his speaking techniques.
Need help building your high school’s culture and hiring a guest speaker?
Contact TEEN TRUTH today at 818.237.5082 or email us at info @ teentruth.net.
JC Pohl, LMFT
President & CEO, TEEN TRUTH