Public speaking gala dinner hosted by senior students

Nine student participants of the first Nobel International School Algarve (NISA) “Speak” programme hosted a gala dinner to showcase their public speaking skills to parents and teachers.

The gala dinner took place at the school’s boarding house in Armação de Pêra and saw 50 guests gather for drinks and canapés and to be welcomed by hosts for the evening, Chase Taggart and Sasha DeGroot.

Students, all in Year 11 to 13, played roles such as hosts, speakers, evaluators, spontaneous speakers and timekeeper and worked brilliantly as a team.

The students took part in a two-month Youth Leadership course held during lunchtimes twice weekly. Building on the success of last year’s Toastmasters Course, this new bespoke programme was designed to prepare young leaders for formal, social situations and to overcome performance anxiety when speaking publicly.

Parents were treated to seeing highlights from the “before” videos of the group making their first speeches after hearing some impassioned after-dinner talks about subjects as wide ranging as cuisine, wildlife photography, mental health, creativity in the curriculum and the ocean.

Course leader and Head of English, Mairin-Ann Kane, said: “The group dynamic was incredible, with students actively supporting and encouraging each other throughout the course; to see the progress this enabled was inspiring, and resulted in a remarkable development in each of the students’ confidence and expression. Overall, the enhancement of leadership, speaking and communication skills was tremendous.”

The NISA “Speak” programme “helps young people to overcome the anxieties of being asked to speak in public, to mindfully deal with fears and surpass self-imposed limitations and to gain skills in self-presentation and in putting across ideas convincingly. It also develops effective listening skills and creates an environment where students may offer and receive advice and feedback in a constructive and supportive manner.

“The programme challenges students to push their boundaries, to expand their capabilities and to become all they know they can be,” concluded a school statement.