The Rundown

Speak Out Card Prompts

Google Classroom

Reinforced Values

Speak Out Cards afford students the opportunity to practice speaking digitally to others through virtual classes and/or typed responses. There is little risk but high return for the students during this activity. Speak Out Cards contain easy, medium, and hard questions or statement starters (that can be randomized). It is truly up to you how you use them. This lesson will provide you with some ideas.


A “pitch” is a short persuasive explanation of a business idea/model. Many people have a fear of public speaking, but it is important that we develop our speaking skills so we can share our ideas with others in a way that is clear, concise and engaging. In this activity, you will be given a prompt to craft a response to then pitch to others, either in a video or through your writing.


  • Determine how you will share the activity with your students.
    • Options to consider:
      • Provide a prompt via your electronic platform in a post that will allow students to comment with their thoughts. Students ideally should be able to see each other’s responses.
        • Because there isn’t a time constraint for this, consider parameters that you would like to put in place so that students compose their thoughts in adequate detail. (For example, they must write at least 5 sentences.)
      • Another alternative is to have students record themselves and share their response. A great tool for this is Flipgrid.
      • If engaging with students through a video conferencing tool, you can provide a prompt and then allow students to individually share their responses.
  • The first time you do Speak Out Cards, use the easy ones. This will give students a chance to ease into them. As students become more comfortable with the activity, you can add in the medium and hard prompts.
  • Review the debrief questions shared in this guide and decide if you would like to share any of those as additional reflection questions.
    • Protip: Consider adding to the instructions any parameters around student writing (grammar mechanics, number of sentences, etc.).
  • Post the activity to your classroom platform for students to access and complete.


  • Speak Out Cards/Prompts come in three levels: easy (30 seconds), medium (60 seconds), and hard (90 seconds). You will be virtually asking students to “speak out” based on those levels.
  • Let them know how you will decide who will speak out, if you will be doing all three levels, and how long they will be expected to speak.
    • You can do this through a post with responses that they can read.
    • Upload videos based on a Speak Out Card/Prompt you virtually share.
  • If using videos:
    • You will want to tell them what things you will be looking for while they are speaking out. For instance, the first time you do Speak Out Cards, you may only be expecting that they speak for the entire time allotted (shared above in bullet 2). As they get more comfortable you might start expecting them to speak louder and more clearly, make more eye contact with the camera, have a better introduction and conclusion, etc.
  • Get started by taking a card/prompt yourself and giving the classroom an example of what to expect through a post or shared video.
  • Now…Speak Out! This may look different depending on the method of activity delivery that you selected when prepping:
    • Virtually select your first student through a post or collaborative video session. Share the Speak Out Card/Prompt. When they start speaking, start the timer.
    • Have your student(s) record their talk and then you watch it and write down any constructive critiques to share with student.
    • Have your student(s) upload their videos to the platform of your choice. Ask students to leave one appropriate comment on their peers’ videos. The feedback can be in the form of a critique, a question, or a compliment.
  • Repeat these steps as often as you would like! Practicing speaking skills consistently will build confidence in your students.


Use these debrief questions for self-reflection if a video was submitted or conversations through a virtual class via break out sessions (example: Zoom breakouts). If you didn’t have students use a video, you could challenge them to speak in front of their families and then reflect using the questions.

  • What did I do well while I was speaking?
    • Did I stay on topic?
    • Did I speak clearly?
    • Did I make eye contact?
  • What are some things I need to work on while I am speaking?
    • Did I mumble?
    • Did I stare at the floor?
    • Did I say um and like too much?
    • Was I too quiet?
    • Did I fidget, sway, etc.?
  • Were we, the audience, respectful of those speaking?
    • Were we attentive to the speaker?
    • Were we on our phones?
    • Were we talking?

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