Celebrating Student Success in Public Speaking

December 16, 2021

Juliette Alarcon Mancilla (bottom right) with EIT Auckland International Student Support Officer, Jonathan Wang (left) and International Learning Advisor, Glen Shadbolt (top right).

EIT Auckland held a special ceremony during it’s end of year online SpeechMasters session on 3 December 2021. EIT was delighted to award a certificate of completion to Katerine Juliette Alarcon Mancilla (Juliette) to recognise her continued support and commitment to SpeechMasters.

Juliette recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science at EIT Auckland campus, graduating in October 2021 and is the first student to successfully complete the full SpeechMasters requirements.

Inspired by Toastmasters, a group of EIT Student Representatives started the SpeechMasters sessions in 2020. SpeechMasters encourages students to gain confidence in public speaking in a supportive atmosphere by regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others. The free sessions are held fortnightly and are available to all students. During 2021, the sessions moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions, bringing together students from Auckland and online offshore.

To gain a certificate of completion, students complete four different speeches. The students challenge themselves as they progress through each speech, culminating in a formal academic speech which must be at least 10 minutes long followed by a question and answer session. Participants are also encouraged to undertake four meeting roles during the sessions, including Master of Ceremonies (MC), meeting secretary, timer and evaluator. These roles support students to develop their time management and organisational skills.

During the final session, Juliette shared her experience of how SpeechMasters has helped her to gain confidence and overcome her fear of public speaking.

In addition, Juliette concluded that SpeechMasters opened up the opportunity to network with other students from all over the world with different cultures and beliefs. The biggest gain, according to Juliette, was that she came out of her shell and was able to approach other students, even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The experience was very rewarding for me because I feel like I can think straight while speaking in public. This really helped me to become a better communicator and I really think this will help me in the future.”