Public Speaking & Leadership by Michael (Q3)

In 6 engaging lessons, students will further the public speaking skills they developed in Q1 and apply them to situations that will directly impact their futures. Specifically, throughout this second quarter, students will be taught the importance of creating a small enterprise as a vehicle to gain a competitive edge in college admissions that will last them through their high school and university careers and beyond. Only a very small fraction of high school applicants will ever be capable of understanding or achieving this edge.
Lesson 1) Students are taught the fundamentals of creating engagement through building an online presence and mailing list. This vehicle may showcase a writer's portfolio, a computer programmer's coding projects, or whatever topics the student wishes to pursue. Students are taught to connect with audiences on a personal level in order to build a membership base for their causes.
Initially, there are two aspects to creating a small business: services (paid work: internships, etc) and products. Students will showcase product ideas they are selling to potential customers, and the entire class will vote and discuss the merits of each presentation. By the end of the class, each student will be equipped with a few product ideas they will continue rethinking and refining.
Lesson 2) Students will envision themselves as a future student of their chosen college major and discuss internship opportunities. Students will participate in a mock interview with decision makers and be taught the importance of setting up a corporation to receive their summer income and NOT be direct recipients of their income.
Students brainstorm possible product ideas and the rest of the class will provide feedback regarding the engagement level of the product. Students dissect and counter the following and similar propaganda that is prolific in our daily lives, espoused by unsuccessful people:
"As you get older, you’ll realize that a $300 watch and a $30 watch both tell the same time. A Michael Kors wallet and a Forever 21 wallet hold the same amount of money. A $300,000 house and a $100,000 house host the same loneliness. A Ford will also drive you as far as a Bentley. True happiness is not found in materialistic things, it comes from the love and laughter found with each other. Stay humble… the holes dug for us in the ground are all the same size."
Students are taught what it takes to be admitted to the top tier of colleges and universities in the country. Specifically, understanding what it takes to separate oneself from the masses is critical to achieving success.
Lesson 3) Students will be taught the difference between paid vs unpaid work: internships, concurrent work-study programs, etc. Volunteer community service is a mandatory requirement for all MCPS students. Students will be taught to select a volunteer opportunity for greatest impact, and each student will engage in a mock interview with the decision maker of their chosen organization. Students engage in a quick speaking session brainstorming additional product and publication ideas for their enterprise: why should potential readers read your work? Why should potential customers purchase your product? Near the end of the session, the instructor engages students by asking them 3 critical questions: What do you want? Why do you want it? What do you bring to the table? In depth and hands-on coaching is provided in order to showcase the student's confidence and spark additional creative avenues for further conversation.
Lesson 4) Students will be taught the difference between owners and employees -- the pros and cons of each, and the ability to develop an owner's mindset -- even while working for others. Students will sell their chosen product to possible customers and the instructor will provide insight, additional creative suggestions, and ideas. Students examine their personal objectives for gaining admittance to a competitive college or university and provide short monologues concerning the following topics. What are my objectives for the remainder of my Sophomore year? What are my summer objectives? What are my plans for my Junior year? Students are coached regarding attaining realistic goals in limited time, as well as what constitutes a "good goal" as opposed to a impossibly idealistic objective (a waste of time). Students are questioned how they measure success and how victory is defined.
Lesson 5) Students will select an eligible charitable foundation of their choice for maximum impact for consideration to receive a donation from the student -- from profits generated by the student's income. Each student will have a mock interview with the foundation's head and will be taught important questions to ask.

Students are taught the importance concept of the business cycle and how they impact everything in our daily lives from choosing a major to performing a job search: 1) inception, 2) growth, 3) maturity, 4) decline and 5) death. Correctly understanding these cycles will allow individuals to make informed decisions and can mean the difference between gaining or losing a competitive advantage regardless of one's intrinsic talents. Several examples are provided: the inception, subsequent blossoming, and decline of the once-prosperous Electrical Engineering field, and different subfields within computer science: web development, app development, artificial intelligence, headless technologies, etc. Although the class focuses on very specific examples as a lens for case study, the instructor emphasizes the general applicability and importance of these cycles to any field.
Lesson 6) Students will participate in a college admissions interview with a strong emphasis on their work experience and charitable contributions and activities.

Students are introduced the concept of the longtail: how a disproportionately few number of individuals within a given population will always enjoy the maximum offered advantages. For instance, in a typical scenario, 20% of the employees in a company perform 80% of the critical work that is required to run the company. The other 80% of the employees are not critical to the main business operation, and are therefore expendable. College admissions is another applicable area: typically, 5-10% of successful applicants enjoy the benefits of attending an elite institution, while the remaining 90-95% exist only to build those institutions' prestige and reputation.