About Youth Amplified

Youth Amplified provides a range of resources designed to help teachers and youth workers help young 11-18 year olds develop confident and effective speaking and listening skills.

It has been developed through a joint project by Speakers’ Corner Trust and the University of Leeds. The resources have been designed by Bold Creative. The project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.


Youth Amplified is an innovative project which aims to provide attractive, accessible and exciting educational resources to help young people between the ages of 11 and 18 improve their speaking skills and overcome the lack of confidence which prevents so many from expressing their ideas and opinions and engaging fully in their communities, schools and workplaces.


So many young people feel that nobody listens to their views. There are some great schemes which give young people the opportunity to have their say and create impact. However, even when they have the motivation to be engaged and the access to people who make it worthwhile, young people don’t always feel they have the speaking skills to deal with those opportunities effectively.


Youth Amplified seeks to address that deficiency by providing resources in a format which will appeal to young people and support teachers and youth workers both within and beyond the school setting. They seek to assist the teaching and learning of six civic capacities which fall into three principal categories:


  • Expression
    • Confidence – feeling positive about how you express yourself
    • Projection – using your body and voice to support what you say
  • Common Cause
    • Negotiation – reaching agreements which benefit both parties
    • Listening – actively engaging with what someone else is saying
  • Influence
    • Argumentation – demonstrating the appeal of what you are saying
    • Persuasion – changing someone’s mind about a point of view they had previously overlooked, disagreed with or misunderstood.


Each capacity is the subject of specific but inter-related online resources including:


  • animated films in which young people discuss the skills they need to speak confidently and effectively in public
  • videos in which young people talk about speaking challenges they have faced
  • a self-evaluation quiz to identify personal speaking strengths and weaknesses
  • a series of lesson plans and a guide designed to help teachers, across the curriculum, and youth workers to support young people in the development of these skills.


The lesson plans and guides will allow schools and other youth settings to implement a structured approach to skills development for each of the three core themes. They include activities facilitators can use and adapt; practical advice on how and when to adjust or select methods depending on the characters in the group and suggestions on how to make the most of the website to complement and enhance offline learning.


All these materials can be found in the Staff Room.




The research for this project was conducted at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds. The research was led by Stephen Coleman, Professor of Political Communication at Leeds, working alongside Katie Peate (a Leeds graduate) and Paula Clark (a specialist in applied drama for young people).


The researchers ran a number of workshops with school students, youth clubs and youth theatre members. The findings from these workshops, as well as meetings with teachers and one-to-one interviews with young people, informed the outcomes from this project. As well as the Youth Amplified website, researchers produced a number of papers, available by request from s.coleman@leeds.ac.uk




Speakers’ Corner Trust is a UK-based charity which promotes free expression, public debate and active citizenship. Its approach is based on the belief that association between citizens and the free exchange of ideas, information and opinions – with each other as well as with the decision-takers among them – is a key to building trust and participation in governance and to strengthening the mutual respect and common purpose which underpin vibrant, cohesive communities.
SCT’s website includes a wide range of resources and guidance for those interested in expression, debate and citizenship.




Bold Creative is a social and youth innovation agency based in Tower Hamlets, London. Employing a unique user-centred approach, it develops innovative communication solutions which engage hard to reach groups and empower young people on the issues that matter to them. Its main strength is its ability to create innovative work which tests new, creative ways to engage, inspire, educate and unlock the true potential of young people.


With several ground-breaking projects to raise the profile of young people’s voices in mainstream media, Bold Creative has in the last two years won seven international awards including a Royal Television Society award and two BAFTAs.




The Paul Hamlyn Foundation is one of the larger independent grant-making foundations in the UK. They make grants to organisations which aim to maximise opportunities for individuals to experience a full quality of life, both now and in the future.
In particular they are concerned with children and young people, and others who are disadvantaged. They prefer to support work which others may find hard to fund, perhaps because it breaks new ground, is too risky or is unpopular.