A showcase of The Mackay School students' talents

Mackay Students Represent at ESU Public Speaking


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They say that in the United States the second greatest fear (second only to death itself) is public speaking.  And on Thursday April 18th at Universidad de Los Andes Mackay III Medio students Sebastián Barriga and Rodrigo Jeria showed their true courage by standing up and speaking in front of a crowd at the 9th annual English Speaking Union (ESU) Chile Public Speaking Competition.  What made this task even more challenging was that students gave their speeches entirely in English.

Barriga told the audience about problems in education, focussing mainly on its lack of autonomy (the competition winner spoke on the same topic).  Barriga explained later that he made several last-minute changes to his speech opting for efficiency.

Jeria gave a talk on Mahatma Ghandi, which highlighted his resistance against the British Empire as a prime example of peaceful protest, and this connected well with the competition theme of using “ideas as weapons.”

Unfortunately neither Barriga nor Jeria made it to the finals, but their efforts did not go unnoticed in what was ultimately a very competitive heat.  Many of the students in heat 4 spoke English with native-like fluency, and the top two students from the heat made it to the finals.

The day was a huge success in that students got to visit a very nice university campus, met other students from all over Chile and most importantly gained experience in what is seemingly a very scary task!

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2 Responses »

  1. It was really a great opportunity the English Department gave me, along with Mr. Jeria. It was really a pleasure to travel and have a day of my life focused in Public Speaking, with my classmate and friend Rodrigo, and with Mr. Sam Carey. I really understood why some people call it as something to fear of. I hope I can have again the opportunity to represent the school (specially the E.D.) in any other activity they want me in. I’d be glad to carry out anything they propose to me. I’m really grateful.
    Best wishes

  2. Thank you, Sebastian. ESU Public Speaking is a rewarding challenge, especially in terms of developing long term skills, such as confidence and defending a point of view. We really appreciate the support of the students. Be prepare for the Internal Public Speaking which is coming soon!
    Miss Carla

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