This required course develops fundamental speech skills and the related theory. Among the topic areas are: delivery techniques, content analysis, research skills, speech organization, visual aids, audience analysis, nonverbal communication and listening skills. The students will have ample opportunity to develop and to improve these speech-related skills through a variety of public speaking situations. Students will select their topics, research the necessary materials, evaluate information in relation to the listeners’ needs and synthesize the message. By developing such skills, the students will be better able to take their places as responsible citizens and Christians in our society.
At Fenwick, students have the opportunity to enhance their speaking skills through a variety of activities within and outside the Expressive Arts Department. Besides competing in speech activities such as Lincoln-Douglas debate, student congress, public forum, and individual events, students can compete in a variety of contests sponsored by civic and religious organizations. Fenwick students have responded to the efforts of the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (the VFW), the Optimist Club, and the Sons of the American Revolution. Over the years, some of our Greek Orthodox students have competed in the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Church.
Additionally, students can further develop their speaking ability by lectoring at school Masses and speaking at various school-related functions. Over the years, Fenwick students have also delivered presentations to a variety of groups in their communities.
Because of our students’ efforts, they have won a variety of major awards. Fenwick students have won eleven state championships in the Optimist Club’s Oratorical Contest, two state championships in the VFW’s Voice of Democracy Contest, and fourteen state championships in the Sons of the American Revolution’s Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest. In similar contests, Fenwick students have won the equivalent of another twelve state championships. Several Fenwick speakers have qualified for final rounds at national contests. Twelve have finished in the top three nationally in those contests. Currently, a Fenwick student is a state champion in the Optimist Club’s competition and qualified for the final round of their international contest. Obviously, Fenwick has students who work hard to gain this level of success for themselves, their families, and our school.