Wednesday 16 November, four trainers from Speakers bank were introduced to Year 10 as part of a public speaking training day the trainers company is based around Essex and London.
Excitement, enthusiasm and embarrassment were all encouraged. The day began with a warm welcome from trainer Elaine, who was running my group of 23, which made me feel very relaxed about making mistakes and trying new things in front of her. She was animated and supportive towards people with different levels of confidence, which helped us all to realise that we had no need to panic about speaking in front of each other.
We were off time-table for the whole day so we had plenty of time for exercises and games to help gain and improve skills. Elaine made us take part in funny yet beneficial speaking challenges and interactive games which helped prepare us for the afternoon.
After each task we would be given feedback; two things that were wonderful; improvements, and two nice things about it. From this we could focus on how to get better and become more comfortable about speaking with energy in public. They helped to home in on skills like making eye contact and using hand gestures.
The afternoon caused a lot of distress for some people. The task was to write and readout a speech of your choice to the group. Two people would then be chosen to go into another competition against the other six chosen speakers to decide who is going to the regional finals. The speech topics ranged from hard hitting subjects such as child abuse, eating disorders and mental health, to light-hearted, comical ones for example ‘Being the Middle Child’ by Daniel Wheeler.
Nerves were hard to overcome for most of us, but with support from Elaine and the group, everyone managed to ‘give it a go’.
I really enjoyed the day and I have gained new speaking techniques that I can use for interviews in the future. I would recommend the day for other pupils as you might find you have a talent!
- Bridget Clegg (Year 10)