Guest Speaking





Guest speakers provide Academy students with an authentic link to the “real world”: they give students a chance to connect what they learn in school to their futures. The Academy runs three different guest lecture series by themed topics that are pre-scheduled. Speaking engagements can also be made by individual appointment. See below for more details on topics we often ask guest speakers to come and speak about.

Speaking Engagement Details:


Guest speakers will generally talk to one or two classes of approximately 30 high school students at a time. Depending on the topic of the presentation, the audience may be a class of 10th , 11th or 12th graders, or a combination of those grades. Academy students are instructed in how to be polite during a guest speaker’s presentation, and all classes are supervised by at least one Academy teacher for the duration of the speaking engagement.


All guest speaking engagements are held at Clairemont High School in one of the Academy classrooms (Room 201, 208,  or 209 ). When a guest speaking appointment is scheduled, the coordinator or instructor will notify the speaker ahead of time which room they should report to. On the day of a scheduled appointment, guest speaker volunteers should check in at the main office; the school secretary will then direct the volunteer to the appropriate room. Speakers can also view our Clairemont Campus Map to get a better idea of where their appointment will take place.

Planning Your Presentation – Make It Interesting:

Students of 21st Century tend to be drawn into presentations that incorporate visuals, audience interaction, and activities to reinforce what they are being told! We suggest the following outline format for all guest speakers:

Introduction (3-6 minutes): 

  • Attention-getting opener relating to topic
  • Speaker’s bio & background relating to lecture topic
  • Main Message: focus point of presentation and why the topic is important & relevant to students’ lives

Body of Presentation Content (15-20 minutes)

  • Delivery of  essential lecture topic message, information, terms
  • 3 or more examples and/or personal stories to illustrate message
  • Recommendations for Lecture:  We strongly encourage speakers to create interactive presentations that include any combination of the following: PowerPoint, video clips, charts, graphs, music, news clips, comics, webinars, handouts, and other visual aids.

Interactive Activity (15-20 minutes)

  • Audience participation activity relating to lecture that will help students clarify, practice, or apply what they are learning.
  • Recommendations for Activities:  role-playing, questions & answer games, internet web searches, problem-solving challenges, creation of a document relating to topic, and more. (All students have access to computers in the presentation room).

Closing (2-3 minutes)

  • Come back together
  • Speaker’s final thoughts/ recommedations on topic
Presentation Materials & Technology:

If notified ahead of time, The Academy can provide various materials and technology to enhance guest speaker presentations including: a podium, a whiteboard and whiteboard markers, a digital projector & screen, PowerPoint capabilities, a document reader (digital overhead projector), a DVD player, a CD player & speakers, wireless Internet access for guest speakers, Internet access for class audience, copies of a document (copies are limited to two pages per student).

Lecture Series Topics:

In addition to welcoming guest speakers to present about a topic of their choice, The Academy also runs structured lecture series at each grade level on pre-selected topics that relate to the students’ curriculum. These talks are structured around a theme: individual topics and dates are calendared in advance according to when they fit into class time.  See below for a list of the Guest Lecture Series Program Topics & Schedule:

Pyramid of Success Lecture Series: For Academy 10th Graders

This fifteen-topic lecture series motivates 10th graders to fulfill their potential (based on Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Each topic touches on another “brick” or success skill. Talks focus on topics like: cooperation, enthusiasm, self-control, initiative, team-spirit, poise, and more. In the time slotted for each topic, guest speakers will present to two separate classes of sophomore students for 40 minutes each.  We recommend a lecture of no more than 20 minutes, followed by a short interactive activity and/or Q & A session.  This series runs throughout the school year, September – May. Lectures for this series are generally held twice per month on Wednesdays from 7:15 am – 9:00 am at Clairemont High School, Classroom Computer Lab 201. For a list of Topics in the Pyramid of Success Series, click here. For a downloadable PDF version, click here.

Leaders in Business Lecture Series: For Academy 11th Graders

This eleven-speaker series teaches 11th grade students about leadership in the business world and integrates with their  Business Management & Ownership course. This series is intended to expose students to a wide variety of industry professionals who perform different leadership roles. We recommend speakers focus on any or all of the following: a personal story about being a manager, leader, or founder in a company, what leadership looks like in business & the workplace, what attributes and skills make a good leader, responsibilities of leaders in management settings, and what practical things students today should do to develop leadership skills. In the time slotted for each topic, guest speakers will present to two separate classes of 11th grade students for 40 minutes each. We recommend a lecture of no more than 20 minutes, followed by a short interactive activity and/or Q & A session.  This series runs throughout the school year from September – May. Lectures for this series are generally held twice per month on Wednesdays from 11:15 am – 12:00 pm at Clairemont High School, Classroom Computer Lab 201.

Expectations in the Workplace Lecture Series: For Academy 12th Graders

This thirteen-topic lecture series prepares 12th grade students for field-placement internships during their second-semester by teaching them the skills needed to be successful at their site and in the working world in general. Guest speakers touch on practical topics such as resume and interview skills, phone etiquette, taking initiative at work, punctuality, manners at work, social technology, and more. In the one hour time slot, guest speakers present to one class of 12th grade students. We recommend a lecture of no more than 25-30 min, followed by an interactive activity and /or Q & A session. All lectures are held at Clairemont High School, Classroom Computer Lab 201. This series runs from January – February. Lectures for this series vary by day, but are always held from 1:10 – 2:15 pm at Clairemont High School, Classroom Computer Lab 201.  To view the specific topics & dates for the 2012-13 Expectations in the Workplace Series, click here.  For a downloadable PDF version of the topics and dates, click here.

Register to Guest Speak Now!

To register to be a guest speaker on any of the above topics, please make sure you have checked that the dates and times fit into your schedule, and then go to our online AOBT Guest Speak Registration Form for 2012-13. You will be contacted shortly after to officially schedule your guest speaking appointment. Speaking slots are filled on a first come, first served basis.