Jr. Speeches: Preparing for Life
Posted October 5, 2012
Saint Mary's School is committed to preparing girls for college and life. Our mission and core values inform our decisions around curriculum, program and activities. One of the many ways we help our girls prepare for life's challenges, is to help them become more effective communicators. The Junior Speeches program is an integral part of that process.
During their junior year, each student is expected to deliver a speech either in assembly, chapel or other venue. Students work with a speech mentor who assists them with topic selection and preparation. Students are encouraged to select a topic about which they are passionate. The three-minute speech must be informational and persuasive with a research component. Amber Hunsel '13, President of the Student Government Association, recently shared her Junior Speech experience with the current junior class:
Upon choosing a topic for my Junior Speech I was very nervous. I kept thinking that whatever I wrote about had to be good. Having a sister who won the Public Speaking award her junior year while I was a freshman, I kept thinking that whatever I wrote about had to be just as good or even better. However it was not until I began to ask myself what was important to me and what I wanted to share with the SMS community, that I got into a mindset that helped me come up with the topic for my speech: my tree. Because my speech could be seen as controversial, because it was about different religions and was held in the chapel, I felt added pressure. All that tension eased as soon as I met with my speech mentors... they were extremely supportive and helpful. After giving my speech, not only was I overwhelmed with joy, but I look at it as the best accomplishment I have ever achieved in my life. My advice would be to write about whatever your passionate about... [The Junior Speech] experience is like no other and can be life changing.