10th-Grade Orators Featured in Sophomore Public Speaking Contest

English 2 students and teachers enjoyed an evening of outstanding speeches at the April 26 Sophomore Public Speaking Contest. During the event, held in Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts’ DuBois Theatre, a dozen speakers reflected upon a special place, sharing what that place reveals about them. A panel of faculty judges selected the contest winners, and English department chair James Moore announced their names at School Meeting on April 30: Adriana Gogioiu ’23, first place; Truman Crystal ’23, second place; and Margaret (Maggie) Hayes ’23, third place. 

View the winning speeches by clicking “play” below:

Sophomores prepared for the contest by writing, revising and practicing their speeches in their English classes. “Each class held its own contest, and the students and teacher chose a winner, who advanced to the grade-level competition,” Mr. Moore explained. 

During the Sophomore Public Speaking Contest, students were permitted to use notes, although some spoke without them. The judges considered content and delivery, weighing the effectiveness of the presentation along with adherence to the topic, organization of speaking points and the speaker’s awareness of the audience.

The annual Sophomore Public Speaking Contest is part of Blair’s school-wide focus on developing students’ ability to speak and communicate effectively. “Public speaking in a range of forms is an important part of the entire English curriculum, and this event is really the culmination of those efforts for our lower school students,” Mr. Moore said. “Showcasing the best speeches gives our students a sense of what is possible and provides strong examples of good speechmaking that everyone needs to see.”  

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