Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I form Public Speaking

Mr Swift writes:-

Part of this term’s work programme in Form I English has been preparation for our 2nd Annual Form I Public Speaking Competition. Pupils worked in small groups during class time developing ideas for their speeches and practising their delivery in these less daunting groups. This year there are three sets in Form I so it was decided to have heats on a set basis with three finalists going forward from each. There was a healthy breadth of topics chosen by speech makers including: Candyfloss, Ancient Persian Weaponry, Transport 21, Easter, Fire Extinguishers, Flimsy Excuses, Kings of Leon, Ferreting…the list goes on! 

Participants were urged to engage their audience by maintaining eye contact, with as little reliance on flash cards as possible also seen as a positive feature. It was suggested also that a good speech should start strongly, be well researched and might include personal anecdote, variation in pace and volume, humour (if appropriate) and a strong conclusion. Overall the heats were impressive and threw up some difficult choices for Mr Jameson and Mr. Swift.

The nine finalists were: Brendan Dickerson (Degradation of the Rain Forests), Harry Morris (Annoying Sisters), Harry Johnson (Bob Marley), Oliver Glenn-Craigie (Cows), Matt Brooke (Man’s Best Friend – Dogs), Dearbhala Gernon (Life on the Move), Sadbh Sheeran (Being from the Bog), Molly Dunne (My Brother) and Alexandra Owens (Alex was out of school unwell for the week prior to the final so didn’t participate). 

We all gathered in Blackburn classroom on the Friday before Exodus. Thanks are due to Mr. Brett who sacrificed a Latin lesson to facilitate bringing all three sets together. Thanks are due to him all the more as he agreed to be an impartial adjudicator for the final – a perfect choice. He praised the overall quality of the speeches and picked out positive aspects from each contributor. In the end he congratulated Sadbh Sheeran as winner for her confident and engaging delivery on her affection for Donegal and its boglands, the place she calls home.

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