Soap Box

Get up on your soap box and spread the word about Big Tobacco’s lies and deception. Use your voice to draw a crowd in this creative, engaging activity by Reality Check of New York. In this activity, you will setup multiple "soapboxes" for 3 or more speakers to speak non-stop about your issue for 5 or more minutes. This is an eye-catching activity that is likely to attract media attention.

You'll Need

  • Sturdy boxes or stools to stand on (at least 3) 
  • Talking points about your policy issue or what you’re looking to educate the public on 
  • Paper/posters and markers


Before the Activity: 

  • Choose a tobacco related issue to focus on - are you working to get tobacco-free parks? Fighting point-of-sale marketing or the sale of flavored tobacco? Or do you want to share information about the toll of tobacco in your community or state? 
  • Once you know your key issue(s), develop talking points and/or a script - check out our Resources page for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids fact sheets to help you develop your talking points. Each speaker will need to prepare to speak for at least 5 minutes non-stop (they can be repeating information). 
  • Identify a high traffic location to place your boxes, and be sure to get proper permission to host your activity in advance! 
  • Help your soapbox speakers prepare to deliver their talking points. 
  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there. 

During the Activity:

  • Place your boxes anywhere! On the street, in a park, or if you get permission, in a mall or other public place. They should be far enough apart that everyone can be heard by the public, but close enough that it is clear that this is one activity. Having different points of interest will draw people in and hopefully, create a crowd. 
  • Stand on (or in) your box and start talking! Take about the issues you are working and DO NOT engage the public. Pretend you are on television and the people are watching your “show”. 
  • Have other volunteers on hand to answer questions and provide information about your group and what people can do to get involved. 
  • Set up a third “general” soap box for passersby who want to join in. Let them get up on their soap box and tell everyone about how they are impacted by tobacco. Make sure to ask their permission to record them and post on social media. 
  • Remember that this is a performance, not a lecture! Be BIG & be PASSIONATE! You are there to inform your community about the toll of tobacco in your community. 
  • Post photos and videos to social media using the hashtag #TakeDownTobacco 

After the Activity:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets. 
  • Post photos and videos to social media using the hashtag #TakeDownTobacco 
  • Keep those boxes around! This is an activity that can be done anywhere, any time, or any topic!