Guest Speaker Worksheet

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  • Guest Speaker Checklist

    You are probably here because you have been asked to be a guest speaker at one of our programs. We are committed to making your visit to the

    classroom a big success, thus we encourage you to take moment and review each section of this worksheet.



  • 1. INTRODUCTIONYou will be introduced by the course instructor and asked to step to the head of the class.

    2. MY NAME ISStart your presentation by writing your name on the blackboard.

    Tell the students a little bit about yourself your educational background and some details that were not mentioned in your introduction that provide students with perspective.

    (Its always good to remind the students that you too were once a middle school student.)

    3. UNLEASH YOUR GOOD CHARACTER TRAITWrite the good character trait you have chosen on the board. (See Pick Your Character Trait below.)Engage the students in the meaning of the trait. Find out what preconceptions they have regarding the trait.

    Discuss its dynamics:

    How has mastering this trait made a difference in your life and/or career.

    Explain why the trait requires effort and is sometimes difficult to attain.

    Give the students a specific example from your life when this trait made all the difference.

    Provide advice for how to practice and cultivate the trait.

    Encourage students to recognize, as you have, the enormous importance of mastering this trait in daily life.



    Your Good Character Trait


    Define the Trait


    Why is the trait important? How does it improve the quality of life?


    PRESENTATION OUTLINELet's review a general guideline for your 15-20 minute presentation.

  • 4. TELL A STORYTake a step back from trying to define the word and tell a story (using the framing techniques offered below in STORY THEMES FOR INSPIRATION). Provide a specific example from your life when the trait made all the difference.

    Keep it simple. How would Obi-Wan Kenobi explain it? Think of someone you admire who is plain-spoken and let their spirit of directness guide you to a definition that resonates with a middle school student.

    Explain why the trait requires effort and is sometimes difficult to attain.

    Provide advice for how to practice and cultivate the trait.

    Encourage students to recognize, as you have, the enormous importance of mastering this trait in daily life.

    5. Q&A: Open your presentation up to questions. If there are none, turn the tables on the students and ask them a question. Prepare a question in advance that makes them consider the traits implications for the future or just the remainder of their day.

    6. THANK YOUWhen appropriate, the course instructor will close your presentation by thanking you for sharing your insights and visiting the classroom.

    Tell a story that helps students understand the power of the trait.


    How can the trait be cultivated?


    Suggest questions below that prompts students to consider the traits implications for their future.



    JUSTICEThese individuals take an active interest in the cause of justice, as well as the causes of injustice in our society. Usually encompasses a refusal to be petty, along with a willingness to face danger in order to uphold the law.

    DILIGENCEIndividuals who expend considerable energy in the steady pursuit of a commendable goal. Individuals demonstrate a willingness to dig in for the long haul. They are rooted in the belief that great effort and tireless devotion will eventually yield results well worth the wait.

    COURAGEThe state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger or fear with confidence and resolution. These individuals possess the strength of character to live their values independent of the good opinion of their peers.

    GENEROSITYWith an inclination to perform kind, charitable works, these individuals devote their time, wealth, ideas or talent in ways that benefit others. Granting those with whom they disagree a sympathetic ear, these individuals treat others with respect and are always on the lookout for the good within others.

    INTEGRITYThe same person in both private and public life, these individuals live out their values in all areas of their life. Their actions reflect a consistent adherence to their ideals. Reliable, they inspire loyalty and dedication from those around them.

    ENTHUSIASMThese individuals put their whole heart into worthwhile tasks. Not discouraged by failure, they display intense devotion and tackle each challenge with zeal.

    WISDOMThe trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight for the benefit of others. These individuals see and respond to life situations from a perspective that transcends their current circumstances.

    Additional traits:The working definitions associated with each

    character trait are from Character First! Benevolence Giving to others basic needs

    without having as my motive personal reward. Boldness Confidence that what I have to say or

    do is true, right, and just. Compassion Investing whatever is necessary

    to heal the hurts of others. Contentment Realizing that true happiness

    does not depend on material conditions. Creativity Approaching a need, a task, or an

    idea from a new perspective. Decisiveness The ability to recognize key

    factors and finalize difficult decisions. Deference Limiting my freedom so I do not

    offend the tastes of those around me. Dependability Fulfilling what I consented to do,

    even if it means unexpected sacrifice. Determination Willingness to accomplish right

    goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.

    Discernment Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.

    Discretion Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences.

    Endurance The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.

    Forgiveness Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.

    Gratefulness Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefitted my life.

    Honor Respecting those who have earned your respect

    Hospitality Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others.

    Joyfulness Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions.

    Patience Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it.

    Resourcefulness Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard.

    Self-Control Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right.

    Sensitivity Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me.

    Sincerity Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.

    Thoroughness Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.

    Thriftiness Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary.

    Tolerance Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.

    Truthfulness Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.

    Virtue The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.

    Wisdom Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.

  • STORY THEMES FOR INSPIRATIONWe encourage guest speakers to invest their own experiences into the learning process in the form of a story. Think of a story that involves you and your selected trait.

    Here is a small selection of common story themes that may trigger a story from your past that dramatically underscores the importance and influence of your trait.

    Mentor who Mastered the Trait

    Think of a mentor in your life who passed the power of your selected trait along to you. What impact have they had on your life? Honor and reflect on their contribution to your understanding of good character.

    Your Greatest ChallengeStories in which you have experienced a challenge and how you overcame it. These can be physical as well as mental challenges of conquering a specific fear. Explain how you overcame this adversity by leveraging the power of your good character trait.

    Objects & ArtifactsFrame the story around an object or artifact. All of us own a possession that holds tremendous value in our lives. Bring the object to class and tell the story that brings that object to life and gives it meaning.

    Sacred PlacesGeographical places hold intense memories and emotional significance in our lives. While these places may not have historic markers and may seem unremarkable to the casual observer, they are never-the-less sacred places in your life. The archaeological history of you is fertile ground for every storyteller. Bring a map t