The Jack Talks program uses contact-based education and a peer-to-peer approach to teach young people across Canada that we all have mental health and we all need to take care of it.
Normalize mental health + gain new skills.
When it comes to mental health, young people are most likely to listen to someone of a similar age or lived experience - that's you! As a Jack Talks Speaker, you’ll travel to schools and youth-centric communities to deliver engaging mental health presentations that young people will actually listen to. We’ll walk you through a comprehensive training program that will equip you with the tools and skills needed to connect with and captivate a youth audience.
In the past year alone, 100 trained speakers delivered over 500 Talks in communities across Canada.
What do you gain as a Jack Talks Speaker?
- Foundational mental health knowledge
- Public speaking skills, tools to meaningfully engage audiences, and ongoing coaching opportunities
- Safe storytelling skills
- A staff team that provides outreach, marketing, and logistical support to connect you with Jack Talk opportunities in your community and across Canada
- The opportunity to travel to other communities to deliver in-person Talks or deliver Talks virtually
- The platform to spark mental health conversations and lead mental health education with youth
- An annual honorarium, volunteer hours (where applicable), and professional references (as requested)
Already have previous experience in public speaking or facilitating mental health conversations? Check out our Senior Speaker mode, where we offer additional training opportunities and more advanced Jack Talks. Learn more about this model and our current Senior Speaker cohort here.
Who can apply to become a Jack Talks Speaker?
Speakers should be between the ages of 18 and ~26. Note: 26 is somewhat of a loose restriction. Please reach out before applying if you fall outside of this age range.
While anyone can be a mental health advocate, a Jack Talks speaker should be prepared to: Retain foundational mental health knowledge, abide by a provided slide deck and follow a prescribed presentation structure/format (while weaving in your own personal flare, stories and examples), and feel comfortable speaking clearly in front of small to large audiences (with training and coaching!). Reach out if you are unsure if the Talks program is right for you!
What’s Involved in Becoming a Speaker?
Once your application has been reviewed for safety considerations and program alignment, you’ll be invited to participate in our Jack Talks Speaker Training.
Training takes place over the summer months (although we sometimes offer fall training for a smaller cohort).
The training program is structured like an online course and accompanied by 1-1, virtual coaching. The content is broken down into units (which include a mixture of text and videos, as well as assignments to demonstrate your learning) that can be completed independently at your convenience.
A dedicated Jack.org staff member provides ongoing, personalized coaching and support to help you develop your skills and knowledge.
Training is typically broken down like so:
Once you successfully complete your final Mock Talk, and your coach deems you ‘stage ready’, you will officially be a certified Jack Talks Speaker!
- 2 weeks to complete the orientation and training content on our online learning platform. This part of training includes 1-2 assignments and optional coaching calls.
- 2-3 weeks to deliver practice Jack Talks (‘Mock Talks’), where you will present the Jack Talk as you would to a live audience and receive 1-1 coaching along the way. Once per year (typically over the summer) speakers will be taken through a quick recertification process to brush up on Talk content and learn about any new changes to the Jack Talk.
Learn more by reading our Guide to Becoming a Jack Talks Speaker
We encourage you to check out our Pre-Recorded Personal Edition of the Jack Talk. This will help you understand what the Talk is all about and the skills you will gain as a speaker.
Before you apply
Ready to apply?
Fill out the online application form (below) and a member of the Jack Talks Team will get in touch. Questions? Contact the Jack Talks Team directly: email@example.com
reminder that while we accept applications on a rolling basis, speaker training typically takes place over the summer months. Please expect to hear from us around May regarding your application.