High School Leadership/Professional Communication


2020 SESSION – JUNE 10-18

The summer program offers advanced communication training for academic and career success.

The Claremont program uses the same instructional sessions, practice exercises, and curricular materials now used by higher education institutions, non-profit and government organizations, and businesses for training hundreds of thousands of individuals.

Students will learn the 3 I’s of highly effective leadership communication – Innovating,  Implementing, and Influencing. Through the application of case studies, training simulations, and roundtable discussions with talented communicators from diverse fields – technology, higher education, politics, law, and finance – students will develop the ability to identify problems, propose technically-achievable solutions, express vision, and motivate others.

Students will deliver extemporaneous speeches to sample target audiences, engage panelists in roundtable problem-solving discussions, prepare individual and team PowerPoint/Prezi presentations, manage meetings, mentor peers, develop student clubs or social/political community organizations, produce digital/social media marketing content, and participate in interviews. Students prepare club/organization constitutions and instructional manuals and they organize agendas for scalable and sustainable academic, social, and political projects. The summer workshop uses a leadership theme to direct student presentations and projects. Projects, including student-produced manuals and curricular guides, are designed for school and community implementation in 2020-21.

Attending students may participate in the Debate Union’s secondary school social and political advocacy outreach program, Civics in Action, or its other leadership outreach projects. One example of a project was the 2016 Conference on Nuclear Politics. Summer students were invited to submit papers an attend one of the few academic conferences extant for secondary school students. Information on the conference is available online at leadership communication.center. Students will receive information on the summer academic conference, scheduled for leadership students, on this site in March 2020.

Above angle of business people listening to confident man during seminar Note to inspector: the image is pre-Sept 1 2009

Program Curriculum

Students will practice the public speaking, critical listening, note taking, and team building skills to make effective presentations, manage groups, and mentor the less experienced. Leadership communication instruction and practice prepares participants for student government and club/organization leadership, group project management, class and public speaking events, college and internship interviews, and multimedia and PowerPoint presentations.

A special feature of the program involves presentations and workshops with professionals who use sophisticated presentation techniques in the course of their careers. These professional presentations are used to demonstrate the application of the core issues that students are learning. In previous summers, guests have included a non-proliferation expert and national security studies professor from MIT with nearly 1,000 television interview appearances, a national board member of the NAACP and youth leadership and advocacy expert, and a film/television writer and producer and the president of the Writers Guild of America – West, as well as an expert in negotiation and argumentation.

The program is appropriate for students new to public speaking or professional communication, as well as those displaying an interest in communication skill acquisition and development, including students already participating in competitive speech and debate, Model UN, Mock Trial, student government and club leadership, and other work or activities.

This summer, students will participate in

• individual and small group practices featuring extemporaneous speeches, roundtable discussions, town hall meetings, class and school/community group simulations, and mock interviews

• an academic conference, with opportunities for competitive paper submissions, panel presentations, and multimedia presentations

• written and oral multimedia project presentations featuring group management proposals; projects are designed for implementation at high schools and in communities in 2020-21

• résumé design sessions, with comprehensive review

• 12 hours of open forum sessions – students have the opportunity to discuss and practice any element of professional presentations, as well as arrange for additional practice

• faculty are available for ‘table discussion’ during meal times – students may request a lunch or dinner discussion group on public speaking, presentation, research and writing, subject-field issues (e.g., discussion on economics or international relations), current events, and more…guest faculty and field experts are often included in table discussions

• a ‘Distinguished Lecture’ series, featuring presentations from field experts (each presentation includes subject-field material, e.g., civil rights issues in the 21st Century, as well as a meta-presentation on designing and delivering a professional presentation)

• opportunity to participate in academic term leadership programs

• meeting with college admissions staff for information on effectively navigating the college application process – the session includes but does not exclusively focus on admission to the Claremont Colleges or other highly selective liberal arts colleges; college admissions staff address selection and application to a broad range of colleges and universities, discuss the common application, and offer insight on academic and extracurricular evaluation, student essays, and developing strong teacher recommendations

• essay presentations and review with writing consultants from Claremont McKenna College’s Center for Writing and Public Discourse

• flex time with more than 30 hours of available meal and recreational time to visit with established friends and make new ones…the summer program is intensive, challenging, and fun.

2020 Leadership/Professional Communication Schedule

The schedule includes the following sessions –

  • 24 hours of small group instruction
  • 3-6 practice/performance sessions of each of the following – extemporaneous speaking, academic writing (club/organization manual and related documents), resume writing, social professional communication and elevator pitch, individual and group multimedia presentation, interview, roundtable discussion
  • 12 hours of open forum sessions

Pre-announced Topics for Leadership/Professional Communication Presentations

  • The US should substantially reform criminal sentencing.
  • Animals and inanimate objects should have standing to sue.