Sample Template for Speakers

  • Sample Template for a 30-Minute Talk
    High School Level


    Personal Introduction                                      2 minutes


    -          Name, title and company

    -          Connect with the students by stating a key historical event that occurred when you were in middle school or high school.

    -          Consider including an interactive question about your profession or incorporating a visual aid (e.g. a model, equipment or photographs evocative of your profession) in order to engage the students.  Be interactive.

    -          Include a brief academic and professional history.

    o    If you went to an HISD school, mention it.  Let students know you’ve walked in their shoes.


    Topic Introduction – Set the stage                    5 minutes


    -          “I am here today to talk about…”

    -          Describe the specific role you play in the industry/profession.

    o    Consider incorporating some interactive true/false questions about your profession.

    -          Describe how your job or industry is relevant in the lives of the students. Be interactive.


    Primary Topic – two or three specific points    15 minutes


    -          Stay focused on primary topic points, relating them to current events if possible.

    -          Describe what a typical (or particularly exciting) work day entails. Be interactive.

    -          Explain the relevance of what the students are studying to achieving success in your industry.

    o    Reinforce the importance of education and good decision making (both in school and in life) in achieving future success

    o    Talk about the financial benefits associated with educational achievement

    o    Talk about your experience overcoming obstacles

    -          End this portion of your talk by restating clearly each of the primary topic points.


    Talk about the future—what’s next                   2 minutes


    -          What key role might a student play in the industry/profession upon graduating from college?

    -          Describe what the students can do now in order to prepare themselves for a career in your field (e.g. internships, volunteer opportunities, shadowing opportunities, etc.).



    Q&A                                                                 6 minutes


    -          Stress the importance of preparation and the need to challenge basic assumptions.

    -          Allow time to speak with students who want to chat briefly after your talk.

    [*] This is a sample template for a standard 30-minute talk.  When contacted about a speaking engagement, a speaker should ask the school official arranging the talk if there is a particular topic the school would like them to address.  We encourage creativity and tailoring comments to the needs of the school.