I am giving a speech about VEX robotics for my home school co-op. What do you think I should talk about?

It is a persuasive speech, so I am trying to persuade people to join VEX.


Perhaps take a page from a car sales strategy.

When someone enters the showroom you don’t tell them about the cars you have; you instead ask them what they want from a car. Then once you know what they want, you show them a car that has everything they asked for.

Your speech could spend a large fraction of its time rhetorically asking what Engineers, Artists, Salesmen, Farmers, Bankers, Scientists, Postmen, Journalists and other careers demand of their most successful participants (and what colleges/employers look for); and then make a subtle shift into describing a fun way (teamwork, travel, head-to-head competition, networking, public speaking, etc.) to nurture those sorts of talents and skills.

Finally you mention, oh-by-the-way, that fun activity is the robotics team.

Use a bit of subtlety by focusing on the meta-message and letting the audience pursuade themselves.


ive only had to give that speech about 150 times and i find it easier if you bring a robot with you (even a very basic one it only has to look cool) and talk about your competitions (especially the world championship) and all the robots you have built.

if your addressing your peers talk about what drew you to robotics

if your talking to adults tell them what it did for you in terms of what you learnt and career choices. personally i went from wanting to be a marine biologist and probably going to a regular high school in my area to going to Worcester technical high school and picked robotics and automation technology (most kids in the trade did vex at one time or another) and am in the top of the class. im probably going to become a mechanical engineer or work in r and d at a local company that sponsors my team. you can see the difference vex made in my life.

I am probably going to make a robot out of NXT parts to bring in for props. I am speaking to other High Schooler’s for this speech. I am also going to show them some you tube videos of VEX robotics. Any other thoughts?

I am doing my speech on “Why You Should Join A Robotics Team”. Any thoughts?

Well, I think there are some of us who have had to give this speech dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of times… When I was on a High School team, I was in charge of PR and Fundraising…

I would say perhaps the most important thing is enthusiasm. I can’t tell you how many comments I have gotten on what a difference it makes for all the old people to see a young kid like me really enthusiastic about something, and really working hard at something that will make a difference. So just go at it as much as you can, and make sure you know what you are going to say…

Aside from that, like, the actual content of the speech, I would say stick to general terms as much as possible. Sure, you can explain the game and how you score and all that, but odds are they won’t understand, and honestly, they probably don’t care. Instead, talk about the benefits, about the scholarships, the jobs, the experience, the connections, all those good things. Talk about how it is helping people everywhere, about how it is helping the economy, and so on.

Another note: know your audience. Nothing is worse than talking about something they don’t know about, or don’t care about. When I talk to military chapters, organizations or groups, I tie VEX to UAVs, the IED-destroying robots, soldier suits, stuff like that. However, when I go talk to a car club, I barely even touch on those. Instead, I talk about cars that can drive themselves, about more efficient (or powerful) engines, better road technologies, that sort of thing.

On the actual presentation, if you have slides, don’t put a lot of text up there! Put lots and lots of pictures. You want them to focus on what you are saying, not a whole bunch of text that they won’t remember. If you can be dynamic, engaging, well-spoken, and yes, maybe even funny, they’ll remember that so much more.

Final note: consider building a show robot. I built a robot that dispensed Skittles just for fun. I wanted to build a double-arm, and that seemed to be a need that we had, so I was able to get it built in time for the World Championship. I was then able to help the Boy Scouts unveil their Merit Badges. That same robot then delivered Skittles to Gen. Odierno, the Chief of Staff of the Army at a conference I was invited to…

Anyways, those are just a few thoughts. Sorry to ramble on and on, but like a lot of people here, I have had a lot of experience giving these types of talks at local chapters, at conferences, conventions, lectures, luncheons, and pretty much anywhere someone will listen too me. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info! Keep it coming!