Frankfort Elementary School fuels student leaders

Fuel Up to Play 60 prepares students for public speaking.

The Frankfort Elementary School student team presents their involvement with Fuel Up to Play 60 | Photo by Caitlin Lorenc
The Frankfort Elementary School student team presents their involvement with Fuel Up to Play 60 | Photo by Caitlin Lorenc

It’s not every day you hear students inquire about giving a formal presentation, but when they do, it’s vital to listen thoroughly and provide support as needed! This is exactly what happened at Frankfort Elementary School in Benzie County. The Fuel Up to Play 60 student team has so much enthusiasm about their work in the school, they wanted to make sure as many people heard about it as possible. As a team, they decided to present their involvement with Fuel Up to Play 60 to the Frankfort-Elberta Area School District Board of Education. Do you have a student group who wants to present their findings and involvement? Want to make sure the presentation is a giant success? For a successful presentation, follow these tips and tricks that the Frankfort Elementary School Fuel Up to Play 60 student team discovered.

Know your setting – Not only is it important to know the location where you will be presenting, but also the accommodations the facility offers. Are you including a physical activity in your presentation? Does the facility or room have enough comfortable space for participants to be active? Will you require the use of technology? Does the facility have the proper computer, adapters, screen, etc. for your presentation? The student team found out ahead of time and knew the board meeting would take place in their school cafeteria which has a screen, so they were able to prepare a PowerPoint presentation.

Know your audience – When designing and preparing your presentation, it’s recommended that you know who you will be presenting to. This is useful to know so you can include information in your presentation that will be relevant and inclusive to those attending, as well as to make adjustments as needed in regards to attention spans, physical activity game, participation volume, age and physical abilities. The student team knew there would be community members attending the meeting along with school board members. They made sure to choose a physical activity game that had easy directions for following along.

Know your requirements – When presenting during a board meeting, you should know if the board may have specifications regarding public presentations. Things to consider include time limits and options for handouts or fliers. For student-led presentations, the board may request photos or demonstrations of activities. The student team knew that the board would want to see photos and were limited to a 15-minute presentation timeframe.

Know your subject – More often than not, board members, community attendees, and others will be very supportive and excited to hear about student involvement in projects. This interest will frequently lead to questions that students should be prepared to answer. Questions to consider include, “What is this program? How have you been involved? What is the end goal? What was your favorite part?” The student team has been participating for the last year in Fuel Up to Play 60 and were pretty confident in answering questions regarding the program.

And, lastly, Practice, Practice, Practice! If you want to be good at anything, practice is the key to success! Practicing a presentation will help students feel comfortable speaking in front of others, quell nerves, and provides them with a chance to correct stumbles and mistakes. During practice, invite other students, school staff and parents to attend. All of this practice will help students enjoy the opportunity and experience more. The student team used their lunchtime meetings to rehearse their presentation in front of a variety of attendees, which included fielding questions, and using constructive feedback to improve their speaking volume level.

The Fuel Up to Play 60 student team at Frankfort Elementary used these tips as well as guidance from Michigan State University Extension staff to prepare for their presentation. All of their hard work paid off. At the end of the student presentation, they were commended on their public speaking skills, their PowerPoint presentation, and their commitment to making their school a healthier place.

Are you interested in helping your school to be a healthier place? Want to know more about having a student-led, nutrition and physical activity program at your school? Curious about how Fuel Up to Play 60 can help your students discover and nurture their leadership skills? Visit the MSU Extension website and Fuel Up to Play 60 to learn how you can bring this program to your school.

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