Studies show that public speaking is feared more than death. So, naturally, we do it for fun. This past week, three students ventured all the way to Toronto for the International Independent School Public Speaking Competition (IISPSC). Having prepped for months, we boarded the plane, accompanied with little more than a wrinkled and well-used speech and some jitters.
Each of us competed in three different public speaking categories, ranging from dramatic monologues to debate, doing each category twice over the course of four days. On the first day, we walked to the venue, a high school in downtown Toronto. After getting the initial nerves out, we all felt a little better, and a lot more excited. Although we were there for the competition, we all began to realize what else Toronto had to offer.
The next day, after our heated debates and creative impromptu speeches, we headed to the Eaton centre, probably the largest mall any of us had ever seen. Once our shopping fix was fulfilled, we took advantage of the amazing food scene in Toronto. We were also fortunate enough to get tickets to Come From Away, a new Broadway show, for that night. Each of us were truly blown away at the effect of the show. The story was of the diverted planes after 9/11 that were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, and the hospitality the passengers received from the town whose population was about the same as the number of people who emergency landed there.
Another day of speaking and a trip to the CN Tower later, we landed at the finals. The nerves were almost tangible in the Air B’n’B in which we stayed that morning, and we wondered whether any of us would make it. Much to our excitement, Jaylynn B made finals for the After-Dinner Speaking category for her witty speech on Russian collusion in the US. According to her well-developed ‘American’ character, “N-Y-E-T, ny- N-O no”, there was no Russian collusion. Jaylynn managed to win second place in that category. She and I also placed first as a team in the Cross-examination debate category. Georgia G was decimal places away from making the finals for her brilliant performance as a neurotic bride for the dramatic monologue category.
Thanks to Ms Steele-Maclnnes for all of her time, effort and expertise in taking us on this exciting opportunity.
Amelia H, Allard ‘20