28 April 2022
As part of our programme to equip students with a wide range of skills that will help them thrive at university and in their professional lives, Lower Sixth students recently took part in ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’, a day of public speaking workshops. Delivered by external experts, the students found this extremely beneficial, as Isabella, winner of the public speaking challenge at the conclusion of the day, explains below.
Isabella P, Lower Sixth
Thursday 21 April was both an exciting and nerve-wracking day for the Lower Sixth as we learnt how to improve our public speaking skills.
We spent most of the day in groups, learning how to practice and perform speeches, which we then went on to deliver to our peers in the group. As you might imagine, there was quite a lot of anxiousness at the prospect of standing up and talking in front of people, so for most of the morning we completed lots of different exercises to help us build our confidence.
As the workshop progressed, we started more challenging tasks, which pushed us further out of our comfort zones, and we surprised ourselves with how much we were able to do. So, despite the nerves and stress I and (I suspect) most of the others felt, this was one of the most helpful and rewarding experiences we have had.
Not only were the exercises useful and effective, the environment for our performances was incredibly supportive, with guidance offered to everyone by staff and students alike.
When it came to the final showcase at the end of the day, where 12 students were selected to perform in front of our whole year group, senior members of staff and external judges, everyone was so encouraging. As one of those chosen, I anxiously waited my turn as I listened in awe to the others’ speeches. However, as I started my speech, I found that the more I talked, the more comfortable I felt being up on stage and I actually ended up enjoying it!
Having all the Woldingham girls we’ve grown up with cheering us on as we spoke was inspiring and, with everyone participating, we all ended the day really proud of one another. Whilst this workshop was a challenge, it made us believe in ourselves that bit more. It was a reminder that sometimes the things stopping us reaching our goals are simply the limits we put on ourselves.