How to Find The Best Youth Speakers For Schools
Communicating with your students can be challenging. If you want to connect with them on a deeper level, you’re going to need a speaker who is not only credible enough to speak, but can also create a unique and engaging experience for students.
An excellent youth speaker inspires, motivates, and empowers students. Whether the topic is mental health, leadership, personal development, drug prevention, or bullying, speaking requires a certain kind of passion, which influences and motivates students to act. Finding the right speakers for schools is crucial if you want the event to leave a lasting impact on the minds of your students.
TEEN TRUTH’s Picks for the Top 5 Youth Speakers of 2024
There are tons of speakers out there that can provide a memorable experience to your students. Each speaker will have varying degrees of knowledge, experience, and perspectives on the topics you intend to share. Choosing the right keynote speaker for your event is crucial because it could make or break the event. Here are some of the best youth speakers to hire for your school’s assembly.
Who Are The Best Youth Speakers in 2024?
Having traveled the country as a youth speaker for nearly twenty years, I’ve come across some of the best speakers in the education industry. Sometimes while I’m on the road, working with students and visiting schools, clients will ask me for recommendations.
There are a lot of speakers out there. Some of them are fantastic at what they do, while others are still learning their craft. I know it can be a risk to hire a speaker, so I thought I’d put together a list to help point you toward some of the best youth speakers I’ve seen who have truly impressed me. Below (in no particular order) are the Top 5 Youth Speakers that you should consider bringing to your school in 2024:
Jamar Root, TEEN TRUTH
In all of my years on the road I have never seen a speaker connect to audiences like Jamar Root. He is, in my opinion, the #1 youth speaker in the country and he deeply resonates with students. Jamar’s youthful approach works well for students because he works hard to understand their struggles and isn’t afraid to tackle social-emotional issues like bullying, teen suicide, and self-esteem. You can watch Youth Speaker at teentruth.net/jamarroot.
About Jamar Root
Jamar Root is a youth speaker and recent Temple University graduate who has a passion for inspiring students to find success. As the co-captain of his high school baseball team, Jamar learned the hard work it takes to not only play at a high level, but also overcome the natural pressures that come with being a student athlete. It wasn’t until his senior year when Jamar was confronted by a group of football players who wanted to fight him, that he found out what true leadership and friendship were all about.
Jamar’s unique point of view and relatability comes from not being far removed from the struggles and pitfalls he endured in middle school, high school, and college. Now, Jamar utilizes these experiences to help young students find their voice and be the difference on campus.
David Flood, Top Youth Speakers
David Flood is one of the most caring and intentional youth speakers that I have ever met. His programs focus on love and compassion, and his work helps students with a wide array of social-emotional issues. You can see a short video of David speaking, or you can also visit his website where he offers the following background information:
About David Flood
David’s narrative as a youth speaker comes first hand. He grew up impacted by addiction in his family. He married and became a father of two children. His oldest is a special needs son. He is active in his church, he’s a hospice volunteer who visits with terminally ill patients, and is on the board of a non-profit organization which helps special needs children through sports and other activities called K.I.D.S. Plus, Inc.
David’s life teaches him every day about dignity, understanding, patience, forgiveness, and most of all unconditional love. As a youth motivational speaker, David has spoken in 24 states and Canada to over 250,000 students, inspiring them to look at people and things in a different way. He speaks with passion and conviction, and through his humility, leaves his audience with much to think about as they move into their future.
Caleb Campbell, TEEN TRUTH
Caleb Campbell is one of the best motivational speakers I have had the privilege to witness. What I like most about his style and approach is his willingness to be vulnerable and truthful around issues that “guys like him” are not normally vulnerable or truthful about. He speaks with power and honesty that is guaranteed to inspire your students. You can CLICK HERE to watch a short video of Caleb speaking or learn more at teentruth.net/CalebCampbell
About Caleb Campbell
Caleb Campbell is a West Point graduate, former Army Officer and ex-NFL Linebacker. After a college football career at West Point full of accolades and awards, Caleb made history when he was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 2008 NFL Draft. He is the American dream that most students strive to become, but it wasn’t until he was cut for the last time by the Kansas City Chiefs that he was forced to face a hard truth: He had a lived a life of strength on the outside, but internally he was falling apart.
Despite living out his childhood dream and having a life that many would envy, a day never went by where Caleb felt he’d found his place in this world. Having lived through rejection, depression, self-medication, and thoughts of suicide, Caleb understands the pressures that your students are facing. He has endured an internal struggle to hide his truth, and has overcome it by finding his voice. Caleb is a leading mental health advocate for teens and student athletes around the world, and one of TEEN TRUTH’s best speakers.
Josh Shipp, Top Youth Speakers
I met Josh Shipp early in my career when we keynoted a student council conference together. His story is extremely moving, and his ability to captivate student audiences with humor and charm is infectious. I have never seen someone be able to move students from tears to laughs as quickly and as easily as Josh Shipp. You can watch a Youtube Video of Josh or visit Josh’s Website where he offers the following background information:
About Josh Shipp
Josh Shipp is an author, global youth empowerment expert, and acclaimed speaker. A former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate, he is renowned for his documentary TV series (A&E), that followed his groundbreaking work with teens. He is the author of the national bestseller “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination“, and was listed on Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list.
He is a recognized teen expert for media outlets such as MTV, CNN, FOX, The New York Times, 20/20, and Good Morning America. He’s worked with parents, educators, and mental health professionals, and has spoken to more than TWO Million teens live. His goal is to help as many young people as possible.
Brandon McCall, TEEN TRUTH
I played a lot of sports growing up, so I have always responded well to passion and energy. Brandon McCall is passion and energy personified! He is able to relate to students on several levels and does a great job helping them understand the importance of positive choices in their life. His positive energy juxtaposed against this difficult background does nothing else, but make you want to root for him. And it is obvious to every student in the room that Brandon is rooting for them too! You can CLICK HERE to learn more or CLICK HERE to watch this short CBS news story on Brandon’s life.
About Brandon McCall
Brandon McCall is a motivational speaker and youth football coach who loves to help teens find their voice. Growing up extremely poor in the inner city, Brandon quickly learned about the pitfalls that many struggling children face. Living in a neighborhood where fighting, stealing, and cheating were common, Brandon found that he didn’t have the courage to stand up to himself or for himself when it came to making negative choices.
In 8th grade everything changed.
His brother was in a street fight and ended up taking someone’s life. Brandon quickly realized that his brother was about to spend a good portion of his life in prison and he was going to spend a good part of life without his big brother. This fork in the road inspired Brandon to start making changes for the better as he worked hard to get connected to teachers, counselors, and other friends on campus that made a positive impacts in his life.
JC Pohl, TEEN TRUTH
And of course, if you would like to learn more about my work in schools, I would love to get to know you! We have been on the road working in schools since 2006 and I have loved every minute working as a youth speaker with TEEN TRUTH’s school assemblies and leadership summits. I have a passion for building school culture and empowering student voice. I believe that healthy relationships are the key to mental health and creating an amazing school community. To learn more about my school assembly program you can CLICK HERE to watch a short promo video or CLICK HERE to learn more about my work as a counselor.
About JC Pohl
JC Pohl is an award-winning producer, nationally recognized speaker, and certified counselor who has reached over 11 million people with his efforts to build school culture and empower student voice. He has produced groundbreaking programs such as TEEN TRUTH and RISING UP, and award-winning content for companies such as Warner Brothers, ESPN, and Disney. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and can be reached on Facebook and LinkedIn or directly at www.jcpohl.com.
Qualities of a Good Youth Speaker
Hearing a passionate speaker deliver a speech can be a life-changing and profound experience for young people. An effective youth speaker can inspire a young audience to reflect upon their own lives so that it gets them to change their mindset or behavior.
An excellent speaker possesses qualities that allow them to engage the audience, teach new concepts, and induce positive changes. These can include changes in attitude, mindset, student work ethic, or just simple everyday actions. If you’re looking for a youth speaker to encourage the students in your school and deliver the right message, here are qualities to look out for:
Experience & Qualifications
Great speakers have gone through the necessary life experiences that gave them the know-how regarding the topic or theme they’re presenting. Having the proper knowledge and experience allows a speaker to deliver talks that make a difference. Over the years, they’ve honed their ability to communicate using the right voice, body language, and emotion. When choosing a speaker, be sure to pick one with a solid background in speaking in front of a group, similar to your students’ experiences.
While there are no specific degree requirements to become a professional youth speaker, those that can meet certain qualifications have an advantage over the rest. Some speakers have earned university degrees in communications or have completed courses related to public speaking. These experiences have provided them with the right knowledge to deliver talks in front of large audiences successfully.
Youth Speaking Testimonials
Testimonials are a good indicator of a speaker’s credibility and should always be reviewed before you book a youth speaker. Before you invite a speaker to an event, spend time reading what other people are saying to learn about their experiences. You want to make sure that the speaker you’re considering can effectively communicate the inspiring messages that your students need to hear.
While youth speakers can provide compelling talks to young audiences, not all speakers can cover every topic effectively. Each speaker has their own unique set of skills, expertise, and perspectives they are comfortable sharing. One might be focused on issues such as mental health and mental illness, while another might speak about leadership and character development.
Before considering a youth speaker, be sure to have a precise, definite topic that you want to present and that the speaker you’re considering has the right experiences in that niche.
Engagement & Humor
A speaker utilizing a bit of humor can keep a student audience engaged and even drive home talking points. Laughing students are always more susceptible to new ideas and perspectives as they are likely more engaged with what the speaker is saying. Humor can also reduce boredom, especially for teenagers with short attention spans.
Humor delivered the right way has been known to help people remember things better. When the audience is presented with key points along with humor, they are more likely going to remember those points – especially if it made them smile.
Building School Culture with School Speakers
As a school administrator, your duty is not only to help students succeed academically. You must also build and maintain a positive school culture that is conducive to student growth and development. A positive culture ensures a healthy learning environment for every student on your campus.
Improving your school’s culture may seem like it’s going to take a great deal of effort, but it doesn’t have to. Elevating your school can start with organizing an event and bringing in a youth school speaker. These esteemed youth speakers can connect to your students in profound ways that allow them to ingrain values such as togetherness, enthusiasm, passion, and school pride.
When put into action, these values can build a great learning environment that can benefit not only the learners but the teachers as well. Long after the event is over, the lasting impact will continue to strengthen your school’s core values. Contact Teen Truth today to start building your school’s culture!
JC Pohl, LMFT
President & CEO, TEEN TRUTH