|by Jennifer Juni
These 16 students were from Grade 5 at Aspendale Gardens Primary School.
I would like to mention that it was a pleasure to work with the Grade 5 teacher, Melissa Godeassi, who is so very supportive of the Youth Leadership Program and sees great value in what it does for the students. Melissa would work with the students during lunchtime, after each Toastmaster session on a Friday, to consolidate what they had learned in the session and to prepare them for the next week. The fact that the Program is so successful at Aspendale Gardens Primary School is a result of Melissa’s efforts and support.
|This photo shows a group of children and some adults smiling for the camera. Not uncommon. But the story behind the photo is so much more…
The recipe for this happy snap
1 dedicated toastmaster who believes in the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program (John Beilharz – the District 73 Youth Leadership Co-ordinator)
1 dedicated teacher who also believes in the Program, Melissa Godeassi
2 more experienced toastmasters, Harry Lew and Jennifer Juni
16 enthusiastic Grade 5 students
Stir slowly for eight weeks from April through to June, providing a typical toastmasters style program each week where students learn by doing.
Then turn out the mix for an entertaining and inspiring Graduation Evening!
|This Youth Leadership Program ran for 8 weeks and the Graduation Night was held on 7th June at Aspendale Gardens Primary School. For each of the 8 weeks John, Harry and I would attend the school on a Friday for two hours and the students would “run” a typical toastmasters meeting complete with round robin, table topics, prepared speeches and evaluations. At each meeting, different students took on roles such as sergeant at arms, toastmaster, vote counter, gruntmaster and harkmaster so that they ran the meetings. John, Harry and I would coach them along the way.
The Graduation Night was the time when the students could showcase their newfound skills in front of their families and teachers. Once again the students ran the event with adults being called to the lectern only when a presentation was to be made. The program for the Graduation Night included a contest where 10 of the students delivered prepared speeches which were judged by guest toastmaster judges. The audience was made up of the students’ families, teachers from the school and the school Principal. There may have been 50 people in attendance on the night, which included four toastmasters, in addition to John, Harry and myself, who took on roles as judges.
The results of the contest – 1st Place – Kade Williams, 2nd Place – Yianni Balatsas, 3rd Place – Amelia Szabo.
During the 8 weeks we found that some students would shine one week whilst other students would shine the next. But on Graduation Night, every student shined – brilliantly!
|Upon completion of the course, the students were asked for comments to be published in the school newsletter. Some of the comments were as follows
Corey – In Term 2, I got to participate in the Toastmaster Program. I learnt how to speak in public and get over my fears. I was taught how to write a good speech and what a good speaker needs to do, such as good eye contact and positive body language. Being Toastmaster on the Awards night was a great experience and it really helped my confidence. It was great to listen to others speeches.
Sophia – I think Toastmasters was a great way for me to get out of my comfort zone and help me talk to a big crowd of people. I learnt what makes a good speaker, like eye contact and voice projection. I think Toastmaster is a great program and every child should have the opportunity to participate in it.
Beau – I really enjoyed being part of the Toastmaster program because it was a lot of fun and allowed me to build confidence when speaking in front of people. Thank you Jenny, John and Harry for helping us with this.
Koebe – Toastmasters is a good program if you want to go for a leadership role in Year 6. It helps you to be confident when you are speaking. I liked it when people gave you feedback so you can get better. If there was another opportunity to do Toastmasters, I would definitely do it again.
With testimonials such as these, is there any doubt that the Toastmasters program works?
Congratulations to the 16 students who participated in the program and succeeded in demonstrating their public speaking skills to family, friends and teachers on 7th June.