Tomorrow’s Changemakers Today
4Voices is a pioneering collaboration between the public speaking consultancy Educate to Communicate and the leading online parental resource MumAbroad.
Our goal is to provide students, undergraduates and young workers and entrepreneurs with the skills to confidently use their voices with the right audience, on the right channel, at the right time.
Our professional team of award-winning public speakers offers competitions and trainings and workshops, both in-person and online, to help youngsters further improve their creativity, develop the ability to communicate their ideas, hone their presentation skills and develop positive values and attitudes in order to stand out in different situations.
We aim to give young people a platform where their voice matters. Public speaking promotes confidence, critical thinking and cultural understanding.
Public Speaking and Self-Confidence
In a world where youngsters are often silenced or ignored, it can be extremely difficult for them to know how to use their voices effectively.
Young people are often told to listen, be respectful and follow orders. If instead they are asked how they are feeling, how they would tackle a specific issue or how they can be helped to move their ideas forward, youngsters will feel motivated and will see that they can indeed make a difference and, once they see the impact that they can make, their self-confidence will grow exponentially.
The impact of the traditional form of engagement only proves to reduce a child’s ability to successfully advocate on their own behalf. People who self-advocate (the ability to speak up for yourself) are able to ask for the support they need, stand up against injustices and seek positive change in their environments.
Early training is imperative to develop the cognitive skills needed to be an effective self-advocate. Being able to practise and refine these skills will serve youth now and in the future.
However, speaking up can be complicated. It encompasses a linguistic challenge (WHAT exactly to say), an objective challenge (WHY they should say it), and a social challenge (WHO they should say it to). This combination can make what sounds like a simple task actually very difficult when feeling at a loss for words, fearing to disagree or having to confront authority.
At 4Voices, we help students to develop their self-confidence and self-advocacy skills by ensuring that they use information that makes sense to them, by listening to what they have to say and by helping them structure their argument accordingly, ultimately giving them a platform so they get to have their say.
‘2048: The Future Starts Now’, a collaborative initiative between 4Voices, SistersIN, Vocalis Public Speaking and McCANN VA, was held on 9 December 2023 in Stormont Parliament Buildings. 12 remarkable young women from Northern Ireland gave powerful, impactful and emotional speeches about the future of their country. Here in our latest podcast 4Voices co-founder Cormac Walsh talks to the vice chair of SistersIn Aisling Press, founder of Vocalis Public Speaking Sinéad Lunny and two of the incredible young female speakers Hope Gordon and Anna Norris.
You cannot ever underestimate the power and energy that well informed and motivated youngsters can bring to the conversation. That is exactly what we found in our podcast with 4Voices co-founders Carrie Frais and Cormac Walsh alongside Josh Gabel, the co-founder of Qustodio. They chatted to the winner of the 2023 4Voices competition Audrey Nagel from The British School of Barcelona and Lauren Weedle, also a 4Voices finalist and a graduate of Barcelona High School, about the numerous benefits of public speaking as well as the growing importance of digital wellness.
In other podcasts, the 2022 winner Nanthan Nan and the 2023 winner Audrey Nagel were interviewed by Carrie on the podcast ‘The Soundtrack to My Life’, where they got to chat about their upbringing, education and teenage years via their most resonant musical memories.
Carrie also interviewed her 4Voices co-founder and TEDx speaker Cormac Walsh about his personal public speaking journey and the benefits that self-advocacy has in almost every walk of life.