Learners recognised for public speaking skills

The group of students received their Toastmasters Youth Leadership course certificates from Dr Ian Bratt, the president of the Refined Raconteurs, at a function held at Pollak Park Golf Club recently.

Springs Park Rotary Club and Toastmasters have once again recognised the public speaking skills of students from Springs Girls’ High School (SGHS) and Springs Boys’ High School (SBHS).

Eighteen students each received a certificate at a function held at Pollak Park Golf Club, on Thursday.

Refined Raconteurs recently completed Youth Leadership speaking programmes at SGHS and SBHS.

Ueli Hiller, president of the Springs Park Rotary Club, says it is an honour to be part of the six-week Youth Leadership course presented by Rotary and Toastmasters.

“We sponsor these children, who makes us proud,” he said.

This is the second year the clubs have partnered in this way.

Eight boys from SBHS and 10 girls from SGHS participated in the six-week course.

During the course the learners learnt the basics of public speaking including how to organise a speech as well as adding vocal variety and body language to their presentations.

Over the six weeks the learners had to present five prepared speeches on topics of their choice as well as short impromptu speeches where they were given a topic and had to speak with no preparation.

They also developed leadership skills including listening, chairing a meeting, timekeeping and giving feedback.

Ian Bratt, president of the Refined Raconteurs, facilitated the group at SBHS and praised the learners for the way they tackled the course.

“Despite the fact that they had many other commitments during the course, they were always prepared for each session.

“It is always amazing to see how the learners grow so much in such a short period of time,” he says.

“Their self-confidence improves and their speaking skills develop noticeably as the weeks progress.

“I believe being able to speak in front of a group of people with confidence and to say something meaningful to the audience is one of the greatest skills that any person can have.

“I know that what they learnt on this course will help them not only at school but also in their future lives.”

Cornelia Pleho, Bratt’s colleague, who facilitated the group at SGHS, was equally enthusiastic.

“It would be great if every learner could have the opportunity to learn these lifelong skills.

“Once again, I enjoyed seeing the learners grow tremendously during the course,” she says.

Youth Leadership is a programme of Toastmasters International.

Toastmasters is an organisation dedicated to developing the communication and leadership of its members.

The organisation currently has over a third of a million members in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, contact Ian at [email protected] or on 082 887 6611.

Anna Robertson

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