GDST Voice Box opens communication channels

An exciting new collaborative competition was launched this month, promoting leadership, research and communication skills for teenagers. GDST Voice Box challenges teams from five GDST schools (Sydenham, South Hampstead, Putney, Wimbledon and Notting Hill & Ealing), to produce a TED style presentation whilst developing crucial skills for the future.

Selected year 9 students were treated to a special launch event at Trust Office on Friday including ice breaker activities and some inspiring training in presenting and research from Dr Miranda Kiek and Dr Michael Mellor from Putney High. The level of engagement and enthusiasm from all students was excellent and they were clearly enjoying themselves and taking on board all advice:

What makes a good presentation? How can you engage an audience? Should you move around the stage? What message do you want to leave your audience with? How do you want your audience to feel? How do you find out your information? How do you know it is reliable? How can you find trustworthy statistics?

After lunch, and a quick trip up to the roof terrace for a look at the London skyline, the teams were brought back together to choose their theme and start to focus their ideas.

Year 12 students, selected to be mentors to the year 9 teams, arrived for training from Ilona Latta, a brand strategist and consultant who regularly works with Sydenham High students. They spent time gaining skills in mentoring, coaching and how to guide their year 9 students to success and how to troubleshoot and manage any obstacles they might encounter on the way.

Bringing the teams and their mentors together for the last session resulted in some highly creative and thoughtful ideas for their talks; from the benefits of silence to the definition of ‘home’ and many in between.

Each group will now collaborate digitally, guided by their mentor, and work towards their final presentation. The dress rehearsal will be on Monday 16 March and the final gala evening on Wednesday 25 March, hosted by South Hampstead High School. Prizes will be awarded for collaboration, research and presentation skills for the year 9 teams.

I thoroughly enjoyed mixing with other girls from the Trust, sharing our interests and working together to make a successful project.

– Temi, year 9

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