Recently, I experienced perhaps one of the most exhausting weekends in my life. Late nights, early mornings, and constant performances accentuated this demanding, yet exhilarating week of sheer public speaking and debate.
Kate Cho (Grade 11), Daniella Polovoy (Grade 10) and I were all fortunate to represent Collingwood School at the esteemed annual IISPSC – the International Independent School’s Public Speaking Competition. Yeah, try saying that three times fast!
IISPSC is an event open to member schools from across the world. All independent schools from any country are welcome to join the league and participate in the annual competition.
The York School in Toronto hosted this prestigious event this October. Schools were allowed to send one team of three students and a coach. It was a weekend brimming with discourse, debate, and powerful speaking with students from all over the world.
Kate, Daniella and myself were all deeply aware of the responsibility being thrust upon us. In preparation for this competition, the three of us had begun training with Ms. Thureau in June. Each competitor at this competition had to select three diverse categories from a multitude of options to compete in, some examples being Impromptu speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, Radio Newscast, Parliamentary Debate, After Dinner Speaking etc. I ended up selecting Persuasive Speaking, Interpretative Reading, and Radio Newscast.
Upon arrival, the Collingwood team, accompanied by Mr. Wong and Ms. Lyon, was greeted by a diverse group of schools from all across the world. Totaling around 180 students, competitors came from an array of different backgrounds; schools from Japan, Peru, and many other countries were present.
Without any delay, the competition was underway. Every competitor was truly gifted, and brought their own unique skill set. From the get go, it was clear that the standard was excellence, and we were simply awestruck. Hearing the other competitors perform in their categories was inspiring. More than a competition, however, IISPSC was an amazing opportunity to connect with extremely talented individuals from all over the globe. I, personally, made lasting friendships and connected with a few students from Bermuda, who I most definitely will keep in touch with. Despite being relieved that the tiring week had come to an end, I felt sad that I had to leave my new friends. This journey was so bittersweet!
Kate, Daniella, and I all found great success at the competition. If anything, we all came back with a renewed sense of confidence and refined public speaking skills.
I simply cannot wait for this prestigious annual public speaking competition to be held againnext year. In 2016, it is official that the IISPSC will be held somewhere very familiar and close to us… a place we Cavaliers call home. Collingwood!
On the topic of public speaking, our school competition is just around the corner! There really are so many opportunities to pursue this wonderful art form here at Collingwood… so what are you waiting for?!
By: Samir Damji