Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

Hot seat [3]

Short description

"Training of public speaking in front of an audience (group)



Group size



5 minutes



Goal of this exercise is improving

  • communicative competence

  • children's confidence in their ability to express themselves

  •  Receptiveness

In situations where rapid verbal action is required, children learn to have less stress and inhibitions.


A chair sits in the middle of the room and the group sits in a semicircle around this chair. The teacher chooses a child to sit on the "hot seat" and speak freely to the group for 30 seconds on a given topic (or self-chosen). If the teacher specifies a topic, the child can choose the level of difficulty - difficult, medium or easy. In the allotted time, the child should be as fluent as possible and bring up different aspects of the topic. Time is stopped, after 30 seconds (harder after 60 seconds!) the child is given a signal to finish the speech and it is the next person's turn.

Speaking alone, surrounded by the group, takes a lot of courage and is a huge effort for many children. This exercise aims to get rid of this shyness by practising spontaneous presentation of a topic in front of an audience. Loud and clear speech is trained, as well as coherent formulation of thoughts.

Choosing who gets the 'hot seat' requires a good knowledge of the group. Informality is a requirement as children will not speak freely until they are ready to do so. A sense of desperation should never arise from an (unpleasant) pause in speech. If speech falters, the teacher should help by asking specific questions to continue the thoughts that have started or give children a new introduction to the topic. Examples of easy topics would be 'My favourite food', 'My last holiday' or 'My family', for the medium level of difficulty we recommend topics such as 'Jungle', 'Horses' or 'Music'. More difficult are topics that need your own opinion, such as "Why climate protection is so important", "My life in 20 years" or "What makes a happy day for me".

Background information for further reading

Learning processes - Critical factors

The role of feedback

JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.