The most effective leaders are great storytellers. Blair is preparing students to engage in a world in which relationships matter most—relationships that depend on their ability to communicate effectively. If you can't concisely tell people why your beliefs and actions are important, they will not know what you are capable of achieving.
Chris Fortunato, Head of School
The ability to concisely and compellingly convey one’s message when writing or speaking is an essential leadership skill; at Blair, teaching the art of effective communication is among our highest priorities. Our cross-curricular communication initiative and myriad public speaking opportunities prepare students to express their ideas, advocate for themselves, and engage with others in ways that build vital relationships and lead to success in life.
Whether they are collaborating one-on-one or in small or large groups, our students learn the value of teamwork, problem solving, and articulating their beliefs and passions. Building strong relationships requires effective communication, and mastering these skills before entering college puts our students a step ahead of their peers when they enter the worlds of higher education and professional life.
Blair students have built-in opportunities to hone their public speaking skills in the course of daily life on campus. Our traditional Thursday Chapels and twice-weekly School Meetings feature numerous student speakers, while our renowned Society of Skeptics program presents a two-fold public speaking opportunity: Students learn how to be outstanding public speakers by observing and listening to professionals from a range of backgrounds; and they sharpen their questioning and debating skills by engaging in question-and-answer periods following Society of Skeptics presentations.
Across our curriculum, students at every grade level regularly practice the art of public speaking. In addition to daily opportunities to present and debate in small-class settings, freshmen and seniors devise and deliver, on film, an original narrative as part of The Blair Leadership Stories Project; sophomores and seniors, chosen by their English-class peers, compete in year-end speech contests; and juniors engage in AP English literature exhibitions. Blair’s language department also focuses on effective communication in Spanish, French and Chinese, helping students interact with people of other countries and cultures.
Speak Your Mind
Clubs, athletic teams, student-led groups and myriad extracurricular activities offer public speaking opportunities that complement students’ interests and passions. Thespians speak onstage as part of Blair Academy Players’ productions; debate team and Model UN participants work intensively on their powers of persuasion; admission office tour guides and Blue & White Key Society members speak frequently about the School to visitors; while athletic team captains and club leaders regularly rally fellow students around a common cause with well-chosen words and spirited rhetoric.