Public Speaking Club’s Debut Hooks Students


Rowan Gingerich

Student attendees play a game at the Public Speaking Club informational meeting March 14.

Those announcements about imagining people in their underwear worked.  

Public Speaking Club held their first meeting March 14 at 3 p.m in Room 105. Approximately 22 students attended the lively event.

The informational meeting started out with brownies and cookies. Once everyone was seated, one of the four student leaders welcomed everyone and explained the rules of a game. The attendees formed groups of two or three and were given two words. With those words, they had to form some sort of spoken word to present in front of the club.

“The point of this is when you’re put in an uncomfortable situation, you don’t always get a chance to prepare yourself,” Public Speaking Club Student Leader Andrew Roth, a junior, said during the meeting.

He and two other leaders then listed tips to use while public speaking. Some of these include controlling the pace and volume of the speaker’s voice, maintaining good body language and using appropriate “filler words.”

“We’re not perfect. We’re here to learn,” Roth said. “We say, ‘um’, we say, ‘like’. You can tell us we did something wrong. We’re happy to hear that.”

After this portion of the meeting, the leaders explained why they created the club. Public Speaking Club Student Leaders Lily Roth and Emma Neil, sophomores, talked about the importance of public speaking.

“It’s just something that’s really important to everyone no matter what you are a part of,” said Roth, “and it’s something that I felt was lacking at the high school, so we decided to make this club to help anyone interested.”

“I have two older brothers who are eight and 10 years older than me, and I know from them that public speaking is the most important skill,” Neil said. “It’s something that will never, ever go away.”

Another reason for the club was an upcoming public speaking competition. “We’re having these meetings so we can prepare you, if you would like to join the competition in late April,” Andrew Roth said. “These meetings are so that we can show you the basics and so that you can go home and learn yourself what it takes to make one of these presentations you might like to give”

Roth later explained that competitors must prepare a five-to-seven minute speech, poem, story, dialogue or spoken word to recite in front of an audience. “One of the special things about this is that it’s judged by half as the audience and half as the judges,” he said. “So not only do the judges have to be convinced, the audience has to be as well.”

As for future meetings, the student leaders hope to keep them in the same room and on the same day. “We’ll be having meetings about every two weeks, to once a month. It’s wherever we can fit them in, really,” Neil said. “And we’ll be having them on Mondays if that works for the majority of people.”

Overall, the meeting received positive feedback from students. “I really thought it was very interesting and really exciting to hear that there’s a club that really helps you develop your public speaking skills,” said junior Maverick Wilson, “because in the past, I remember I had many troubles and I was very nervous speaking in front of a large crowd. So, I think this club is very necessary and very helpful to build your ability in public speaking.”

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