Pushing Forward: Becoming a Discussion Leader

By Qinglin

Throughout my high school career, I’ve always struggled with my introversion and the persistent urging of teachers to be an active participant of discussions, to be a leader among my peers. I tried hard, forcing myself to go past my boundaries to involve myself in situations that push me to stand before crowds and to voice my opinions. When I was told this past summer, the summer before I enter college, that I should try something new, to conquer a fear or something like that, I immediately began to search for public speaking opportunities. Give Us The Floor presented me with the perfect space for me to practice and train my interpersonal skills, a chance that I enthusiastically grasped.

The first meeting, like all firsts, were mixed with feelings of anxiety as well as anticipation. How would these discussions work? Would I have to speak a lot? What exactly does it mean to lead a discussion? I wanted to do well, but I knew that to do well, I had to take a deep breath and step out of my shell to become open to not only others, but also myself. I needed to recognize that I have much to learn about public speaking. I needed to accept the occasional silence in discussions not as inadequacy on my part, but a learning experience that should not be wasted.

Being a discussion leader for Give Us The Floor gave me a firm push to grow. After receiving training from supportive adults, I began to recognize points in my conversations in which I could improve my wording and body language to create an even more welcoming discussion.

If you want to learn more about our By Teens-For Teens community: go on our website or contact a teen ambassador.