St.Pat’s High School students conquer complex art of public speaking during competition

Clara Dagenais2.jpg
Photo: St. Patrick’s High School

Secondary V Gold Medal Winner, Clara Dagenais.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, St.Patrick's High School held its annual public speaking competition for students from Secondary II to V.

All students at these levels were required to write, memorize and deliver a speech in class.

So much time and effort was invested into crafting their speeches, as students struggled to find a catchy hook, a persuasive thesis, strong body paragraphs, and a thoughtful and memorable conclusion.

Students practiced using just the right tone, volume, pacing, and platform presence, as well as establishing good eye contact with the audience.

They had difficult decisions to make.

Public speaking is a complex art that requires brains as well as guts.

In these times of rapid -- and often vapid -- communication, it does one good to listen to teenagers deliver interesting, well-written, and thought-provoking speeches on topics of current interest in front of a large audience of their peers.

Someone once told me that the number-one phobia in the world is of public speaking.

The second most common phobia is of death.

Therefore, at a funeral, it might be better to be the person in the coffin than be the one giving the eulogy.

Thankfully, not only did our students survive the experience, they emerged from it as stronger, more confident speakers.

Every single speaker performed really well and were all winners from the start.

I am sure they will have little trouble speaking at someone's graduation, wedding or anniversary.

Our 2009 Winners:

Secondary II:

Gold: Florence Larouche

Silver: Jessica Trudel

Bronze: Suli Jones


Secondary III

Gold: Myriam Bernard

Silver: Dereck Doherty

Bronze: Caroline Dallaire-Vallée


Secondary IV

Gold: Catherine Gagné

Silver: Elisabeth Larouche

Bronze: Myriam Gaudreault


Secondary V

Gold: Clara Dagenais

Silver: Carl Delisle

Bronze: Rafael Agudelo-Sarcos