Grade: A 100%

For this year’s speech class, I planned to learn how to write a speech, perfect its presentation by practicing in front of multiple audiences, and then actually compete against others in speech tournaments.

I was able to achieve this… with one tragic exception. COVID-19 came and all the spring speech tournaments including regionals and nationals, were all cancelled.

Since I was able to practice my speech in front of many audiences, I am confident I accomplished the core of my mission with this class. In addition, I followed up on my studies the following school year, taking advantage of public speaking opportunities that came about after I won several filmmaking awards. This included speaking on a live radio show about the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest, speaking live in front of many classrooms of students in the Redford Center Meet The Moment Series, and speaking to a group well exceeding 100 participants in Clonlara School’s Global Giveback.

To round out my studies, I took a Second City improv course to improve my ability to speak off the cuff. I also took a New York Film Academy acting class. My studies included watching favorite speeches of people like Martin Luther King; President John F. Kennedy; and President Ronald Reagan who gave my favorite speech on the beaches of Normandy, France, on the anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Additionally, I watched most of the popular TED talks, my favorite being given by Sal Khan about Mastery learning. I also enjoyed a book that helped me become a better speaker, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. I highly recommend TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking for anyone interested in public speaking, even beginners.

I can’t wait to do a live, in-person speech meet. But until that time, I will continue to master the art of speech making.

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