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Public Speaking Institute - 9th-12th

Education Unlimited - Public Speaking Institute - 9th-12th

Designed to help students build confidence in their public speaking skills, our Public Speaking Institute trains students in public speaking, logic and rhetoric through an interactive and dynamic curriculum that encourages incremental progress through ongoing practice and exercise. Over the course of the program, students will participate in three main courses: Debate, Persuasive Speaking, and an elective.

Note: Overnight and day camp programs are offered at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Tufts, and Georgetown. Day camp only programs are offered at  MIT. Day camp programs do not include evening electives. 


Learn the art of verbal combat! Students will learn how to construct persuasive positions, defend against and attack each other’s arguments, and cross-examine effectively. Students will debate a variety of age- and experience-appropriate topics, form teams, and pit themselves against their co-campers. Past debate topics have included: school uniforms (elementary school), pre-emptive strike policy (middle school), and the legal drinking age (high school).

Persuasive Speaking

This useful activity teaches students to craft and deliver convincing speeches. Students start by performing a number of pre-written speeches in order to learn delivery, timing, and intonation. When students display comfort with delivery, they will begin to construct speeches based on their interests. Students learn to choose topics, establish captivating introductions, organize speech content, and deliver compelling conclusions! The focus is on speaking in a natural voice, with few or no notes, rather than writing an essay and merely reading it out loud, the form of "public speaking" taught by most teachers. All students end the week by presenting a speech in front of a large group of fellow campers.

Electives: In the evenings, students will get to choose from at least two of the following four elective speaking activities:

  • Model Congress: This event provides an introduction to diplomatic and legislative speaking. Students role-play as members of Congress. Persuasive speaking, negotiations, and compromise are all stressed in a forum that allows students to sample the most exciting part of the political process!

  • Negotiations: You can't always get what you want... or can you? The negotiations activity stresses public speaking as a business and personal tool. Students will role-play scenarios in which their abilities to compromise and persuade are developed.

  • Reader's Theater: In this fun and popular event, students write and perform a short play (or learn and perform a play for younger students). Students create their characters, devise plot twists, write dialogue, and deliver partial practice performances followed by the whole play.

  • Improvisational Speaking: This type of speaking requires students to think on their feet to deliver speeches with little or no preparation time. In the opening class, students are given ample time to prepare for short speeches, and over the course of the program, the time to prepare will shorten as the speeches lengthen. Fun and challenging topics are chosen, often with hilarious results!

Public Speaking Institute students experience university life during their week on a college campus. Students live together in the dormitories, experience campus dining, and relax on campus with a wide array of sports and arts activities. Additionally, the camp will take one mid-week excursion to a local attraction, such as an amusement park or sports venue. The most recurrent comment made by students after camp is, “ I never knew I would have so much fun!”

A few words from our Public Speaking Institute 9th-12th campers!

Unlike many summer camps, your staff clearly demonstrates they are subject matter experts, not just bodies filling an open position.” — Nandini R., parent

Carrie was somewhat hesitant to go to this camp, believing speaking publicly was simply something she wasn’t good at. She has now decided to join speech and debate and school.” — Gail S.R., parent


Looking for a more cultural experience for the summer? Check out Summer Focus Enrichment: Public Speaking for a unique combination of curriculum, Bay Area excursions, and college-life. 

Public Speaking Institute - 9th-12th - Staff Profiles

Education Unlimited believes in small-group, immersive learning with subject matter experts and experienced teachers. We strive to provide industry-leading instruction to all of our students and hold all staff to the highest possible standards. Staff assignments vary by program and location. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:

Education Unlimited - Brianna Broady, MA (Camp Director and Instructor)

Brianna Broady, MA — Camp Director and Instructor

Brianna Broady is a lecturer with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge in Southern California.  Brianna teaches classes at several Southern California colleges in Communication Studies in her primary areas of interest: performance studies and intercultural communication studies.  A seasoned...

Education Unlimited - Stephen Buettler (Camp Director)

Stephen Buettler — Camp Director

Stephen Buettler is an instructor and public speaking expert with dual degrees in literature and philosophy from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  In addition to roles as lecturer and...

Education Unlimited - John Kephart, PhD (Camp Director & Instructor )

John Kephart, PhD — Camp Director & Instructor

Dr. John Kephart III is an associate professor at California State University, Northridge.  Dr. Kephart has a PhD in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism from the University of Southern California.  A member of the Education Unlimited team since 2008, Dr. Kephart has served as instructor, director and curriculum designer.  He helped to develop the...

Education Unlimited - Robert  Loy, MA (Instructor)

Robert Loy, MA — Instructor

Robert Loy is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Los Angeles Pierce College. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge. Since 2014, he has been a lecturer at CSU Northridge in the areas of public speaking and argumentation.  A director with Education Unlimited since...

Education Unlimited - Macara Nicoll, MS (Camp Director)

Macara Nicoll, MS — Camp Director

Macara Nicoll is a school counselor with a Master of Science in School Counseling from California State University, Sacramento.  Macara first came to Education Unlimited as a camper, a step which led her on a path to an undergraduate career at the University of California, Berkeley.  Her love of education and working with youth brought her back...

Education Unlimited - Jasmine Ashoori (Instructor)

Jasmine Ashoori — Instructor

Jasmine Ashoori is a Communication Studies graduate student at California State University, Northridge, where she also teaches two sections of the Fundamentals of Public Speaking. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Jasmine has spent time working with both grammar and...

Education Unlimited - Maximillian Brichta (Instructor)

Maximillian Brichta — Instructor

Max is a public speaking teacher with a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Cal State University, Northridge, where he also received his bachelor’s degree in the same discipline. He's taught public speaking for the last 3 years, including a year with Communication for Youth Institute at CSUN and two as a graduate teaching...

Education Unlimited - Alex Cadena (Instructor)

Alex Cadena — Instructor

Alex Cadena is a graduate assistant at California State University Northridge, where he is working on his Master of Arts degree  in Communication Studies. He is an assistant coach for the CSUN Matador Speech and Debate Team, helping students learn policy-debate and individual events. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Communication at...

Education Unlimited - Tiffany Chen (Instructor)

Tiffany Chen — Instructor

Tiffany Chen is a teacher and tutor currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge.  Skilled in the fundamentals of public speaking, Tiffany has developed coursework and lectured at the undergraduate level in the communications department of CSU Northridge since 2015.  Prior to...

Education Unlimited - Amanda DeDiego, PhD (Instructor )

Amanda DeDiego, PhD — Instructor

Dr. Amanda DeDiego is an Assistant Professor at the University of...

Education Unlimited - Alex DeJean, MA (Instructor)

Alex DeJean, MA — Instructor

Alex DeJean is a college instructor in the Los Angeles Area, teaching courses related to communication such as public speaking, argumentation, and interpersonal communication. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Communication from California State University Los Angeles, where he also earned his Bachelor’s of Art degree my Communication,...

Education Unlimited - Casey Ann Hayward, MA (Instructor)

Casey Ann Hayward, MA — Instructor

Casey Ann Hayward is a teacher with a Master of Arts in Educational Theatre from New York University.  As a seasoned performer and teaching artist, Casey Ann has a natural ability to empower students to find their own voice and confidence in front of a crowd, whether it be on stage as a performer or public speaker.  Her background in educating...

Education Unlimited - Jessica Kwack, MA (Instructor)

Jessica Kwack, MA — Instructor

Jessica Kwack is a teacher at California State University, Northridge, where she also received both her Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Communication Studies.  Since 2014, Jessica has taught...

Education Unlimited - Robert Lebeda, MA (Instructor)

Robert Lebeda, MA — Instructor

Bobby Lebeda is a teaching associate currently teaching public speaking at California State University Northridge.  He received his Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from CSU Northridge in 2017. In addition to teaching, Bobby is also a speech and debate coach for CSU and he has been coaching at the high school level for the past six...

Education Unlimited - Iris Malone (Instructor)

Iris Malone — Instructor

Iris is a Ph.D. student in the Political Science Department at Stanford University where she studies international security and political methodology. Prior to Stanford, she had a Fulbright Scholarship in...

Education Unlimited - Aimee Newton (Instructor)

Aimee Newton — Instructor

Aimee Newton is a teacher in the Communications Department at California State University, Northridge where she teaches the Fundamentals of Public Speaking.  Aimee is pursuing her Master of Arts in Communication Studies at CSUN, following a Bachelor of Arts from CSUN and Associate of Arts from College of the Canyons in the same field. Aimee...

Education Unlimited - William Russell (Instructor)

William Russell — Instructor

Bill Russell has spent his entire adult life learning how to craft arguments and present them most effectively. After a successful career as a college debater where he finished among the top ten teams at the National Debate Tournament three times, Bill spent nine years as the assistant director of Debate at Dartmouth College. During that times...

Education Unlimited - Kim Yee (Instructor)

Kim Yee — Instructor

Kim Yee is a lecturer in public speaking at San Jose State University, where she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural performance studies.  While completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies at SJSU, Kim spent four years as a tutor and intern for the Ohlone College...

We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed.

Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

Session Grade Location Price Range  
Jun 9th 2019 - Jun 15th 2019 9th - 12th UC Berkeley $2,255.00 – $2,650.00
Jun 16th 2019 - Jun 22nd 2019 9th - 12th Yale University $2,255.00 – $2,650.00
Jun 30th 2019 - Jul 6th 2019 9th - 12th UC Berkeley $2,255.00 – $2,650.00
Jul 7th 2019 - Jul 13th 2019 9th - 12th Stanford University $2,305.00 – $2,700.00
Jul 7th 2019 - Jul 13th 2019 9th - 12th Yale University $2,255.00 – $2,650.00
Jul 14th 2019 - Jul 20th 2019 9th - 12th UCLA $2,255.00 – $2,650.00
Jul 21st 2019 - Jul 27th 2019 9th - 12th Georgetown University $2,255.00 – $2,650.00
Jul 21st 2019 - Jul 27th 2019 9th - 12th Stanford University $2,305.00 – $2,700.00
Aug 4th 2019 - Aug 10th 2019 9th - 12th MIT $2,255.00 – $2,650.00
Aug 4th 2019 - Aug 10th 2019 9th - 12th Stanford University $2,305.00 – $2,700.00
Aug 4th 2019 - Aug 10th 2019 9th - 12th UCLA $2,255.00 – $2,650.00