Photo Enhanced Speeches

Digital Camera Activity

Activity developed by Ed Torres, Redwood High School, Visalia, CA

Grade Level:

9 - 12


To reduce student anxiety during a speech of introduction. To increase understanding of the importance of proper preparation. To give students experiences at interacting with unfamiliar students.


My students are broken up into groups of three for the purpose of interviewing one another as they prepare to do a speech of introduction to the class. Each student has to interview a person in their group and take notes on note cards. Their goal is to find out as much as they can about their interviewee so they can introduce the person to the class. There is the regular set of information like name, age, grade in school, number of people in their family, their interests or hobbies, turn-offs or things they dislike and their favorite music or things they like to do for fun. They must also find out one thing that is unusual or especially interesting about their person.

While the interviews are under way I move from group to group and take a picture of each of the interviewees. This image capturing process takes about five to ten minutes. Anyone who is shy about being photographed can easily be persuaded, by noting that everyone is being photographed, not just them. Before connecting to the TV, I cycle through them to make sure that they are all good photos. If a bad one shows up, I just go to the student and retake it and erase the bad one. With all of the images in the camera, I hook it up to the television so they can be shown to the entire class.

Students refine their notes from the interview and condense the information on a single five by eight card for their speech notes. Proper preparation is emphasized to reduce anxiety during the speech.

With their one note card in hand one by one the students make their speech of introduction to the class. During each speech the photo of the person being introduced is displayed on the TV. (This process of showing their picture is much more less threatening for both people involved. In the past I've had the subject of the speech stand up in front of the class during the speech. Most found this very difficult to do. This reduction of anxiety benefits both the speaker and the subject of the speech.)


The focus of the speech is to make a good presentation to the class. The speaker is graded on their eye contact with the class, proper use of their notes, their voice level and projection.


Each of the students creates a short written article from their notes that is incorporated into a class gazette. One copy is printed in color and kept in class for all to look at when appropriate. Enough black and white copies are printed and distributed so each student in class can also have one for their own.

This type of speech lesson was enhanced by incorporating the digital camera. It could also be incorporated into most any other speech making lesson.