Scouting/BSA/Communications Merit Badge
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- 4: Interview someone you know fairly well, like, or respect because of his or her position, talent, career or life experiences. Listen actively to learn as much as you can about the person. Then prepare and deliver to your counselor an introduction of the person as though this person were to be a guest speaker, and include reasons why the audience would want to hear this person speak. Show how you would call to invite this person to speak.
Tips for Interviewing and Introducing a Guest Speaker
Let's say you have a neighbor who is a police detective. To fulfill requirement 4, you would like to interview him and prepare an introduction to deliver to your counselor, as though he were to be a guest speaker at your next troop meeting. You also need to show your counselor how you will invite your neighbor to speak at the meeting. Here is how you could approach the task.
First, have a small notepad and pen with you when you make the call. Call your neighbor on the telephone and ask him politely if you could interview him as part of your Communications merit badge requirements. Explain that the requirements include interviewing and preparing to introduce a guest speaker.
If he agrees to help you, and now is a convenient time, ask him to tell you a little about his background, and take notes. If it's not a good time, ask when you could call again. Do not be afraid to politely ask the person to slow down or repeat a statement if you were not able to write down the information fast enough.
Here are some questions to break the ice and help you prepare an introduction:
- What is your full name and professional title?
- What are your duties?
- What do you like best about your career?
- What is the most difficult challenge you face in your position?
- Did you go to college or receive special training?
- What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Depending on whom you are interviewing, craft your questions accordingly. Based on the person's answers, write a brief, upbeat introduction to the speaker. Practice your introduction several times.
When you demonstrate to your counselor how you would introduce a speaker, bring a couple of index cards with notes just in case you forget some detail that you would like to include about the person.
Stand up, go to the front of the room, face the "audience," smile at your counselor confidently, and address the audience. They know you so keep this informal. Then give a brief introduction of the speaker and sit down.
"Thanks for coming today. We have a special guest speaker today, Detective Tom Jackson with the Minneapolis Police Department. Detective Jackson is a ten year veteran of the police department and has solved many puzzling crimes in our area. He has a bachelor's degree in law enforcement from Iowa State University. When he is not working, he teaches karate and coaches Little League baseball. Detective Jackson has graciously agreed to speak to us today about his position and other career opportunities in law enforcement. Please welcome Detective Jackson .... "
- Communications Merit Badge with Workbook PDF, current requirements, and resources for the Communications Merit Badge.
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