Public speaking was described as the act of conveying a speech to the audience (Spencer, 2018). Based from the definition, it appears that conveying a speech to an audience is a simple exercise wherein it’s involuntary to address around a certain matter with someone to orate. Yet, it is quite distinctive nor connected with various factors to get into account when a person conducts an oration (Novakovic, 2015). Novakovic also delineates oration as a basis of the overall message. Oration was defined as a dangerous weapon wherein there are three basic methods by which a speaker can achieve something with the crowd. It can be compelled, it can be persuaded and it can be convinced” (Henz and Lemmerman, 1968 as cited by Teodosijevic, 2015). This shows that developing the skills of the student in the field of the public speaking will give benefits on how the students speak well, perform well, think critically, and express themselves clearly.
Having a developed skills in public speaking is really applicable and useful in life, some of its benefits are: it builds the confidence of a person, develop the research skill, develop a better writing skill, and mostly, it helps a person in overcoming the fear in the field of public speaking. (Spencer, 2018). Public speakers use different techniques to captivate the heart of the listeners. Some examples are having a gesture, creating a unique and entertaining tone of voice, and having rhetorical questions during the speech (Pomfret, 2016).
Public Speaking Anxiety
Public speaking creates anxiety for those who usually do that (Chandler, as cited by Pomfret, 2016). Fear of public speaking is called ‘glossophobia’, which is a major source of anxiety among the speakers. According to the National Social Anxiety Center, 73% of the population has some degree of glossophobia. While it may be intimidating, learning how to effectively speak in public is an important skill to cultivate, particularly as students prepare for college. According to the study of Raja (2017), overcoming anxiety in the field of public speaking is important before a student transmits from academic life to professional life. The study of Raja also revealed that exposure to a virtual environment can improve students’ confidence and improve student’s confidence and enable them to face the audience.
Recent researchers have also been proven that public speaking is very essential and useful to the students in developing the communication skills (Mabuan, 2017 as cited in the study of Soto–Caban, Selvi, & Auila- Medina, 2011). With that, the researchers see that students would do a lot of reading, research and practice to have an informative public speech. (Nguyen, 2015). Definitely, every learner need to develop even just the basics of public speaking, whether a person has a different goal of a profession (Teodosijevic, 2015).
In the study of (Pratama, 2017) the researchers investigated the factors that affect the student’s confidence in public speaking through applying the qualitative method to analyze the data. The researchers also used the technique recording, note-taking, and questionnaires in collecting data. A qualitative method was also used in the study of (Mabuan, 2017) to explain the student’s experiences and conducting a public speaking presentation.
Communication skills include public speaking as a way of creating and improving personal development on different stages. Developing the skills of a person in the field of public speaking gives much essence to meet the goals (Barnard, 2017). Public speaking is an effective skill that everyone should have and develop.it gets easier with practice and training for the senior high school students. Public speaking will be useful to the senior high school students in the form of presentation and oral assessment in school which could give a significant portion of the final grade. Public speaking will definitely useful to the students when entering the professional world, especially when working in a business setting. Being able to speak fluently and confidently could lead to a greater career opportunities. For the students, improving the basic skills in speaking still, provide benefits and preparing for real-life scenarios (Thomas, 2019).
A lot of factors influence the academic performance of learners. Having a good performance might be from the learning process and way of educating the teachers (Baharom, et. al., 2015). According to Aziz (2015, as cited in the study of Hijazi & Naqui, 2006) students academic performance is not influenced by the profile of a learner. The fact is that having a good performance depends on the awareness of the students regarding its value and how the students developed the skills that may affect the academic performance.
In the study of Garcia (2017) as cited in the study by Mosha (2014), it revealed that the absence of learning materials in teaching and shortage of teachers affects the performance and development of the learners. This shows that if the teachers are not well-trained and lack of the skills as a teacher therefore, the academic performance of the students will be highly affected. Meanwhile, in the study Akinsola (2018), he concluded that there are many factors that affect the academic performance of the students. Akinsola has concluded that class size or the volume of the students in a room affects the learning of the students. In the study of Africa and Benedict (2015) they revealed that the relationship between parents and children or parental involvement has something to do with the academic performance of the students. The findings of Africa and Benedict supported the study of Narad and Abdullah (2016).
Critical thinking is a substantial factor in the progress of the student’s knowledge (Qamar, 2018). It allows a person to dissect and synthesize information to solve problems in a broad range of areas (Alcantara and Bacsa, 2017). In addition, it is the careful and deliberate determination of whether people should accept, reject or suspend judgment on a certain claim (Guevarra, Marquez, and Pecson, 2017). In the same study conducted by Guevarra, Marquez, and Pecson, they stated that critical thinking skill can be taught to students when they are given the chance to raise questions, explore possibilities and engage in meaningful discussion. Also, critical thinking is a knowledge updating, differentiate differences, identify cause-and-effect relationships, getting ideas from examples, and evaluate information regarding truth value, positive or negative effects as added by Florea and Hurjui (2015). In the study of Stefanova, Bobkina, and Perez (2017) they point out that the ability to think critically is one of the primary goals of education and it supported the study of Costillas (2016) in which she concluded that developing critical thinking is an essential goal of education.
Most students today are weak in critical thinking (Yanklowits, 2013) as cited by Costillas (2016). Therefore, critical thinking should be part of students learning and schools should be responsible to develop and evaluate critical thinking skills through teaching and learning process (Firdaus, Kailani, Bakar, and Backry, 2015). Furthermore, group work can be helpful in developing the critical thinking skills of the learners for the students are given the chance to work on a problem together and discuss difficulties (Belecina and Ocampo, 2018).
According to Jones and Pimdee (2017), critical thinking skills have become one of the key pillars of a new knowledge-based economy. Meanwhile, the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) evaluated the logical thinking and analytical skills of 6,235 students. The result was shocking for the average score was 36.5% with 2.09% of all students passing. Seeing that the results were very low, a new critical learning management model was developed (Changwong, Sukkamart, and Sisan, 2018). Despite of the results, Hussin, Harun, and Shukor (2018) have found a way to enhance critical thinking skills through Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach. In the study of Hamid, Waycott, Kurnia, and Chang (2018), they stated that learning through technologies can increase students’ motivation, improves work quality and enhance critical thinking.
According to Marquez (2017), Filipino children and youth should not only be sent to schools. The learners should be trained to become critical thinkers so as to be open, sensitive, and to understand the belief and values of others as well as not to be enslaved by their respective belief and value system. The benefits of thinking critically are: students become more open-minded and empathetic, better communicators, more inclined to collaborate with their peers and to receive and discuss their ideas (Tatsumi, 2018). Luckily, the general skills to be a critical thinker can be taught (Niu et al., 2013; Abrami et al., 2015) as cited by Schmaltz, Jansen, and Wenckowski (2017). Critical thinking in the 21st Century has been recognized as a skill for the citizens (Hussin, Harun, and Shukor, 2018) and it is one of the strongest predictors of long-term success in the workplace (Nord, 2017).
All these discussion driven the researchers to conduct this study to discuss the effects of public speaking anxiety among senior high school. The researchers are hopeful that the findings of this study will help to create a training plan in enhancing the public speaking skills among senior high school.