All oratory is public speaking, but not all public speaking is oratory. Oratory has been called ‘the highest art form’ as it encompasses all other disciplines. It requires a knowledge of literature, construction of prose as well as an ear for rhythm, harmony, and musicality. Oratory is not merely speaking, but speech that appeals to our noblest sentiments, animates our souls, stirs passion and emotion, and inspires virtuous action.
Being a great orator takes work. You need to do the following if you wish to master the craft: speak with clarity, have a definite message, be concise, deliver an interesting talk, deliver your talk formally but with a personal touch, speak slowly, have good use of body language, and ensure participation from the audience. Great orators such as Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, and Nelson Mandela have mesmerised audiences with their style and their message.
This term, our boys prepared speeches with some students competing against speakers from 10 other Adelaide schools. Each boy had to research and write their address and write and deliver an impromptu speech at the IPSHA Junior Orator Competition, hosted by Prince Alfred College in August. Our boys did us proud and performed very well on the night. Harrison Thomas represented the College in the Year 5 category, skilfully sharing his speech entitled 'If I had one wish'. Jayden Yue was our entrant in the Year 6 category and passionately presented his speech to the topic of, 'Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?'.
In Years 4 to 6, our boys selected and presented a poem to their class and year level. The boys who delivered their poem with the most skill were chosen to represent the College at the IPSHA Poetry Recital. Each category had representatives from 16 schools, and the quality of the recital was very high. The contestants had to present a set poem as well as one of their choosing. George Karas presented the poem 'No, I Won’t Turn Orange' by Jack Prelutsky in the Year 4 division, Harrison Thomas presented the poem 'Granny Appleby' by Doug McLeod in the Year 5 division, and Devesh Anavkar recited 'The Health-Food Diner' by Maya Angelou in the Year 6 competition. Our boys did very well, with Harrison Thomas winning his division and defending his Year 4 title from 2020.
Prince Alfred College is an IB school, and we have a profile of attributes we believe make a talented student and person. Key to the learner profile are the attributes of being an inquirer, being knowledgeable, being a thinker, a communicator, and a risk-taker. The challenge of standing before an audience and delivering a speech or poem is not for the faint-hearted. For many people, they could not think of anything worse. These talented young men have been true risk-takers and should be very proud of their efforts and achievements and for how they represented the College.
Head of Preparatory School