Doi Pui- a day to remember.

There are some days that you’re just not going to forget, no matter how long it’s been since that fateful day and how many bumps on the head you have endured in the passing years. Yesterday was one of those days. As you know if you’ve been following this blog at all, I’m a bit of a fan of hiking and I’ve been loving weekly hikes to various spots in Chiang Mai. I’ve done Doi Suthep a few times, last week was a hike to PhuPing Palace and then yesterday, my walking group and I did the big one- Doi Pui. Over the course of 6 and a half hours, we traversed 16km of jungle terrain, both up and down (mostly up) and saw not only beautiful landscapes, views and villages but we also got to see some 13th century ruins, local farms, and insane trail runners taking part in a 160km “fun” run which lasts for three days.

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The hike, as usual started at 7:30, so I hopped on my bike around 6:45 so I could make it with plenty of time to pop to the market for a carb loading breakfast of plain sticky rice and boiled pumpkin (BEST.) and grab some snacks (almonds, apples and dried mixed fruit) for our epic adventure. I would later regret riding to our start point, but to be honest, it was nice to run the legs through the motions on the way home as a bit of active recovery!

As the clock ticked over to 7:30, our extremely efficient and organised leader hustled all 26 of us onto two songtaews who drove us to Huey Tung Tao Lake where the hike would begin. It started reasonably innocently; a flat field of ripening bananas stretched before us, leading to the base of some… significant… mountains. These were our destination. As we walked toward our start point, we joked about snakes until someone pointed out a, thankfully, headless one on the side of the road.

Right. I would NOT be advertising my Australianness nor would my eyes be straying from the trail too much. That said, I wasn’t overly concerned as our group was huuuuge and with the amount of noise we were making, I’m impressed we saw any wildlife at all. No live snakes materialised through the hike and the only encounter we had with any sort of animal was a leech on someone’s pants, mosquitos for days every time we stopped to wait and the obligatory rivers of ants which crisscrossed along the trail.

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Far too quickly, we reached the trailhead and started our relatively easy ascent to our first stop- the Helipad. This section of the hike was reasonably well marked, steep but smooth, and reasonably easy. For those playing at home, it was about the level of the lyrebird track in the middle… and the view was worth any discomfort. It was beautiful from the helipad and we all enjoyed snapping selfies, sharing our snacks and swapping stories about our backgrounds and what brought us to Chiang Mai. I always love this part of the treks- meeting everyone and hearing their stories. So many different people from different walks of life come to the mountain and trekking binds people together in a way that nothing else seems to. It must be the fact we see each other in all our sweaty glory- any pretence, language barrier or class fades away on the trail. All that matters is that you put one foot in front of the other and keep on walking.

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After a while, everyone started looking much too content and relaxed so our fearless leader prompted us to continue up the trail… and this- he warned us- was the hard part. And the snakiest bit.

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His warning was not unwarranted. BUT our next stop was the hill tribe village which had coffee so many people were definitely spurred on by this promise. It was an extremely steep climb and it was unrelenting. There really was, at many points, no end in sight, and it felt like you were just going to have to climb forever. At this stage, most conversation was at a minimum as we all focused on the path in front of us, the person in front of us, the poisonous snake that COULD be in front of us… But then we reached a ridge and we were suddenly between two valleys, overlooking fields and jungle. The views were unparalleled and completely different to those at the helipad, even within the same hike!

Image may contain: sky, cloud, ocean, plant, mountain, tree, outdoor and natureAfter a while, including many false finishes, we reached the hill tribe village were some workers deemed us crazy (we all agreed with them at this point) and we all had some coffee or tea. Some hikers also partook in some Thai energy/electrolyte drinks which they said certainly had an effect on them! The coffee the shops was using is grown in the hilltribes themselves and is apparently, excellent. Some trekkers bought some beans to take back with them. It was really amazing to visit the hill tribes- it wasn’t touristy and there was barely anything catered for “farang”, just the few coffee shops we spread ourselves between. It was clear that these people weren’t being exploited by trekking companies and being “sold” as living monuments but this was just their life and they acknowledged that sometimes, insane hikers would come through and coffee is always a big seller!

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After this, we set off to our highest point- the view point of Doi Pui. Our leader warned us that this part was also extremely steep- but that we wouldn’t notice because of the view. Now, to be fair, I think my legs noticed, but my breath wasn’t just taken away by the hike but by the landscape which stretched out far below me when we reached the top. We were above the clouds and the serenity was overwhelming. It was very peaceful and the mountain vistas were seriously calming. A cool breeze was ever present and all of a sudden, I felt like I could hike for days.

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Luckily, because we still had more to go.

Most of the rest of the way was downhill (not my fave) but this trail offered its own surprises like 13th century ruins and a cute little campsite which seemed to be basically abandoned- not many people came all the way up here. We eventually scrambled down to Phu Ping palace, slipping on muddy slopes and making me extremely glad that we had all agreed to take a songtaew from PP back to our meeting point. I hate down hills and today’s hike only confirmed that they hate me too.

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So, we hopped in the back of our red trucks, trundled down the hill and finally, after 6.5 hours reached our original start point. It was an incredible hike, a beautiful day, and an experience I’ll never forget. Many thanks to our fearless leader, the lovely Aussie I borrowed a long sleeve shirt from when it started to become EXTREMELY chilly and to the whole group who constantly encouraged each other through the hard bits and the easy bits.

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Next week, I’m going on a paid trek to Doi Inthanon and I’ll be honest, it’s going to have to be pretty amazing to beat this one, but I’m sure it’ll be incredible in its own spectacular way.

Missing you all. Will post a general life update soon.

Mwa!

Amy xx

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Workout Wednesday- Tabata TRX Total Body Toner

Holidays are the greatest gifts the modern world has given us.

octo

I mean, yes- vaccines, the 8hr work day, human rights and the 24hr news cycle with the accountability it brings are all fabulous too… but holidays, man. Just fabulous.

I am especially blessed as someone working in the education field, that I receive school holidays every year. Now, in my previous position as a full time Secondary Teacher, I would spend a fair whack of my “holidays” marking, prepping for the term ahead- both mentally and in terms of class work-, and ensuring that all the admin stuff I’d neglected throughout the term was finally dealt with.

This holiday is a little different. When I found out about my new role I went into overdrive and planned out everything for the whole semester, and while I have a little bit of thinking I need to do for a collaboration project with some of the other teachers I work with- there’s actually not too much for me to do this break!

So, I’ve run away with my parents to the sleepy little town of Lakes Entrance. It’s been good for me as, like my previous getaway destination of Yea, there isn’t that much to do beyond going for seaside strolls, SUPping and chilling out with a book.

beach

It’s been lovely to relax.

But rest assured, I haven’t been body snatched and replaced by some weird “zen” version of myself- I’ve still packed my days with lots of fun things and been keeping more active than is really appropriate on holiday (there’s been many “what have I become” moments these last 4 days) with slow, short runs with my parents for the first few mornings followed by fast, furious circuit work to get my heart rate up and muscles twitching. I’ve been Stand Up Paddleboarding- the most relaxed way to work your upper body and core. I’ve given my legs a work out by not only walking everywhere but by walking through the softest sand imaginable while watching dolphins frolic in the waves (#humblebrag… like this whole post really). Today, my mumsy and I are kayaking (to a winery) and back (I’m looking forward to the comparison of pre tasting and post tasting kayaking prowess) before doing some more beach side wanderings.

While there’s been plenty of activity out in the sun, sand and surf, it’s also been super handy having my knock off K Mart TRX trainer with me. I’ve anchored it to my door and used it in the following circuit. It’s a great little burn and the perfect way to kill time while my parents enjoy not having the most evil body clock in the world.

 

It uses the Tabata method of training  (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest x8) so you can really go hard or you can work at an easier pace. If you’re just beginning, consider doing each exercise x4 instead to make the workout shorter.

I did a tabata of each of the following TRX exercises, with 1 min of rest between each exercise to adjust straps, get in position etc. For the plank at the end, I didn’t rest for the 10 secs, instead using it to transition to a side plank or a plank in the pushup position. No knees down. Try it, for a last challenge!

Have fun and let me know how you go!

Exercises: Tabata/1 min rest between each

TRX Row

TRX Chest Fly

TRX Bicep Curl

TRX Tricep Extension

TRX Jump Squat

TRX Push Up

TRX Pull Up (for this one, I pull myself off the ground and hung there for the 20 seconds… or at least I tried! The 5,6,7 set I just did normal pull ups before smashing the 8th with another hold)

TRX Y Fly

TRX Knee Tuck (I alternated Straight Knee Tuck with Oblique Knee Tucks (tucking to each side)

TRX Hamstring Curl

TRX Pendulum/Pike (Again, alternating between the two)

TRX Plank

And that’s it!! How do you like to spend your holidays?

Happy holidays!

Amy xx

 

If I were you… | Easter Holidays!

It’s been building… slowly but surely, you’ve seen it. Hot Cross Buns are becoming more and more prominent, the ads on TV have started to feature terrifying, man size rabbits, and suddenly, eggs are no longer the health foods they were two months ago.

It’s Easter.

And with Easter, comes school holidays!! GLORIOUS. 2 weeks of freedom from the school yard and 2 weeks of being the independent young adults you are soon to become.

You may notice that I have not said that these holidays bring 2 weeks of freedom from school full stop. There should be elements of school in your life for these two weeks. You’re in year 12- there are no total breaks until November. Sorry. But I hardly think I’m the first to say that, so you should be used to it by now.

THAT BEING SAID, I do not expect you to be working like you do at school for the next two weeks. It would be unhealthy, unwise, unproductive and could seriously impact your chances of doing well throughout the year. You need to have a balance. Which is what this blog post is all about. So without further ado, this is what I would be doing if I were you.

5 Things To Do in the Easter Break

  1. Revisit every text on you syllabus (minus the creative text, unless you’re expected to be able to write on it for the exam- many schools are focusing on one text and one text only for the Reading and Creating section of the exam- in my opinion, a wise choice.)
    This means rereading novels, plays, short stories etc and rewatching your film texts. Also, don’t just reread them- reread them with purpose. Go through and highlight the aspects you think will be important. Look for commonalities in the text. Look for language features which are unique or different. Annotate in the margins regarding the authorial intent and how certain passages fit in with the text as a whole. Make quote lists, create character bios, create author bios, create time period bios…
    Or at least just reread each text.
    And for the love of all that is good, if you haven’t read the texts, read them now. Stop reading this and read the texts.
  2. Meet up with friends and discuss the next text you’re studying/last text you studied. Go out for brunch- Melbourne does this well- and discuss quality literature- Melbourne does this better. You don’t have to talk about your text the whole time, but at least engage in what each of you think the text is about and how you came to that opinion. Ask each other what you liked or didn’t about the book and what bits were your favourites and which ones forced you to read page 85 ten times before you understood. By discussing your texts, you’re reinforcing your knowledge and you can enrich each other’s understandings of the text as a whole. Plus, brunch! What can be better?
  3. Write the first draft of your oral presentation AND perform it to a friend. Get them to perform theirs in return and see what you learn from one another and how you can improve. Bonus points if your friend disagrees with your contention. For EXTRA bonus points, write an analysis of the language your friend uses in their oral- sneaky LA practice. See my blog series on the oral here
  4. Maintain a good sleeping pattern. I’m not suggesting you wake up when you would for school- calm down. I am suggesting that you don’t go crazy. Don’t start sleeping at 3am and waking up at 2pm. It will wreak havoc on your body clock and frankly, you don’t have time to adjust to that when school goes back. Wake up before 9-10 each day and don’t go to sleep too late.
  5. Have a day each week where you don’t do anything related to school at all. Consider it a detox day. Go see a movie and have dinner with friends, go up to the mountains and do a bush walk. Go to Bounce and injure yourself so badly you can’t finish your schooling. Go to a museum in the city and learn for the fun of it.

AND ONE MORE THING:

I didn’t count this because you should be doing it every damn day, but

  • WATCH and READ the NEWS. (proper news.)
  • Choose one article to analyse every day.
  • Analyse it. Even if you don’t write an analysis on it, still analyse it.

I hope that was helpful! Have a wonderful break and don’t make yourself sick on all the Easter chocolate you buy on Easter Monday when everything is half price!

 

If I were you… The Statement of Intention

Two weeks ago I promised that next time, I’d talk about the Statement of Intention and what you need to include in this very important and often overlooked piece of writing.

I broke my promise. Sorry.

Image result for promise brokenI hope you can forgive me.

Let’s move on.

Today, we’re looking at what the Statement of Intention is all about. What does it want from you? What do you need to include? What is its purpose? Why do you even have to do it?

The SOI is hardly a new thing, it’s been around in some form or another since at least 2008, but instead of being attached to the oral, it was attached the old CRAP area of study (CReating And Presenting). It asked students to explain their linguistic and creative choices, detailing the links between their writing, the context and their source text. It, like the current incarnation, was all about making thinking visible and forcing students to consider what they were writing- not just pulling something out of the air. It had the added benefit of forcing them to admit that they reasons for writing the way they did and therefore, maybe so did the authors, playwrights, directors etc they were studying did too.

Image result for what the author meant
(This meme is dumb and people who believe it are dumb as evidenced by the spelling and grammar featured in this meme.) 

So, it’s likely that you’ve come across a SOI in some form before now. But it is also likely that you may have ignored it until the last minute or hashed something together in a hurry. Let’s remedy that today. Ready?

Begin.

The Statement of Intention: 

VCAA Assessment Task Description: A written statement of intention to accompany the student’s own oral presentation, articulating the intention of decisions made in the planning process, and how these demonstrate understanding of argument and persuasive language. (10 marks- 1/4 of total grade for this assessment piece) 

The suggested length of the statement of intention is approximately 300–500 words.

Top marks gained by providing: Insightful articulation of the intention of decisions related to selected content and approach made during the planning process, demonstrating complex understanding of purpose, audience and context.

You’ve probably noticed two or three things in this brief blurb of information which VCAA has provided. Firstly, this is not a long piece of writing. You don’t have to detail every sentence and why you chose every single word which you did. It is much more holistic than your average language analysis. Secondly, it’s basically a mini language analysis completed on your own work and therefore, you already know what to comment on as it is the same as what you’ve been doing in all your LA prep.

The key here is that you show your teacher (remember, you will never write one of these in the exam) your thinking processes and how they show that ultimately, you have a complex and well rounded understanding of the art of persuasion.

So, what does that involve?

At my old school, we used a helpful little acronym for our SOIs which you can utilise too!

FLAPA

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F-FORM: Obviously, this is an oral presentation which brings with it a whole host of things you need to consider. How will you use and vary your voice, what props or visuals- if any- will you use, are you presenting as yourself or as a characterised stakeholder (not something I would recommend, btw). When you address your form, address any key choice you make in the presentation of your speech and why they matter. Due to length restraints you can’t include everything, but if you choose to use a certain image, it might be helpful to include the rationale behind this choice.

L-LANGUAGE: This should make up the bulk of your SOI. Your language and how you’ve shaped it is vitally important as your analysis of your own language will demonstrate that you understand how language can be used to in other works to persuade, which as we read earlier, is the whole point.

A-AUDIENCE: This is sort of a given in your case but you should mention at least one way you’ve catered to your specific audience of your peers and teachers- how have you shaped your language or form or argument to fit your audience? I would be v impressed if a student wrote about the duality of their audience and how they shaped their speech to cater to both their highly educated teachers and their peers.

P-PURPOSE: Your purpose is not to get a good grade. Nor is it to persuade your audience. LIKE YES, I KNOW that both of those things are your purpose here but get specific. Like I mentioned in the post about your speech, your purpose needs to be something like:

  • Convince my audience to sign up for the organ donation program
  • Convince my audience to donate a blanket this winter
  • Make my audience feel guilty about eating chocolate and therefore buy fair trade chocolate

And then you can discuss how your purpose fits with your audience, language, form and argument. The last example came straight from a student I watched present last year who opened her speech by offering around chocolate which nearly everyone took and ate while she systemically described the slave trade which exists to support our sugary, creamy addiction. At the end of her speech, she offered some more chocolate. The response was quite different. It was a great hook and closer and I hope she discussed it in relation to her audience and purpose in her SOI (I do not know- she was not my student, sadly)

A-ARGUMENT: The MOST important part of ANY writing you do in AOS  2 is ARGUMENT. You need to articulate the structure of your argument and how it is ultimately persuasive due to the audience and purpose you have and how you intend to further the progression of your argument in the form and the language of your speech. This is what underpins your entire speech and therefore your SOI.

Questions?

Yes, you can use first person (though check with your teacher first, I’ve heard some get funny about this. Generally speaking though, first person is fine and I personally prefer it IN A SOI)

No, you don’t have to follow the order of FLAPA. In fact, I’d prefer you just to make sure that you include all the components of FLAPA but beyond that, forget it exists. I do not like SOIs which are 5 dot points of: “Form: I started with an image because… Language: I used a rhetorical question…” Your SOI may not be a formal essay but it must still be “Insightful articulation”. 

Yes, your teacher will actually read it (it makes up 1/4 of your mark!!) and it will actually count. I found the SOI most helpful when ranking students as orals, in my opinion, can be notoriously hard to judge and distinguish between 3 16s or between a 27 and 29. The SOI and the care which you put into the planning and crafting of your piece can make all the difference.

Yes, you can include things which you chose not to do. Just include what you chose to do instead and why you chose to do the latter over the former.

No, you can’t hand it in after. It’s due the day of speech or first day of speeches, depending on the format of your presentations.

It’s really not that daunting and basically it’s just an opportunity to talk about how good you are. Essentially, your entire SOI is you sidling up to us and saying “see what I did there?” and sometimes, we don’t, so they’re really useful too.

Image result for see what i did there

Hope this helped you in some way and again, deepest apologies for the interruption.

Happy SOI-ing!

5 Minute Friday

Just like last week, I’m participating in 5 minute Friday; a writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. We have a prompt, a timer and total freedom from structure, editing and over thinking. Come and play!

Refine

silver threads through

my

veins as I yearn
for a structural
change as I yearn
for a featured
page to turn in
my teacher-ed
range of skills which
JUST pay my bills and
this silver which lines
my personal clouds obscures
my vision as it tarnishes my perception of

pain.

I know that the pain is fire
and the burn is cleansing
and the seared dreams are mending
to become stronger than the lies I once spoke against what

my

silver ever could would or should be but

damn it hurts and I sometimes wish I could say
I don’t want my silver to be purified and I don’t want those linings and

I don’t want the pain

without the guilt of knowing that the faultlines are
the refined tracings of new

paths

ways

passions

plays

 

If I were you… How to structure your oral presentation. [Year 12 English]

Last week, we discussed how one chooses the issue they are intending to develop their persuasive oral around. Today, it’s all about putting it together. This is generalised advice, so please take it with a grain of salt. Consider your own skills and utilise these to your best ability. Some people are naturally hilarious and can deliver a humorous speech effortlessly, shifting between that jovial tone to a more serious persuasive appeal in a way that compels and unsettles an audience effectively. But not everyone can.

In the same way, not everyone is able to deliver a highly specialised and technical speech with lots of stats and figures in a way that is actually engaging. The key to writing a good speech is to find out what works for you and exploit that in your writing. This isn’t the time to test out if you are in fact destined to be a stand up comedian. This is the time to put to use all the skills you’ve been honing over years of oral presentations.

That being said, there are a couple of major no nos when it comes to delivering an oral- at any level.

Do not, under any circumstance, start with

“Hi, my name is Amy and I’m going to be talking about whaling.”

Firstly, your audience (remember how these guys are your focus point- you’re trying to persuade this specific audience) knows your name. You don’t need to introduce yourself. Obviously, this may be different if you’re doing your orals in front of an audience of parents and friends- but even then, this is not the way to introduce yourself. We’ll cover that later.
Secondly, “whaling” is not an issue. There are many issues covered under the broad umbrella term of whaling but whaling in and of itself is not an issue. Nor is gay marriage. Or euthanasia. Or Donald Trump (I mean, he has issues but he’s not an issue). If you must label your issue in the first sentence of your speech (and I do not recommend you do), at least be specific— your issue might be “how Australia should respond to the claims from Sea Shepherd that a Japanese whaling fleet entered Australian waters”. But that sentence is still dull. Don’t start your speech that way.

Do not finish with “and… yeah!”

I don’t think I need to go into why not. It’s not effective. It makes you sound like a 13 year old girl talking about which 1D member is her fave. Which is fine if that’s what you’re talking about but it’s not and it’s not fine in your year 12 oral.

The way you start and finish your speech is vitally important because that is what people remember. They may not remember all the statistics and facts you’ve laid out but if you bore them, they’ll remember that.

So, if that’s what NOT to do, what then should you do??

Well, there are a few guide lines which I like to use. These can be summed up in the form of a very simple acronym that anyone can remember!

HICCUP.

The key to a good speech is HICCUP.

That is:

Hook
This is where you grab your audience’s attention. Where you stand up and reveal something to your audience that they don’t know or haven’t heard before. Where you make them care about what you’re talking about and want to know more.

One way I recommend starting your speech is with an anecdote. A story about someone directly affected by the issue you’ll be highlighting. This could be a true story. It could be funny. It could be devastating. It could be personal or it could be global. You might ask the audience to place themselves in that person’s shoes— although, this has been done a lot and can be done poorly.

NB: I wouldn’t recommend using the “imagine you’re…” format if you’re talking about animals. It’s not particularly effective as it’s not very relatable to human experience and especially if you’re talking about something like animal testing, you don’t want people thinking about one of the alternatives to animal testing- testing on humans- in a negative light. It will not help your persuasive cause.

Another way of “hooking” your audience may be by shocking them with stats and facts. Another is by appealing to them on a personal level. All of these things point towards one main goal:

                CREATING A NEED.

If you create a need which your audience wants fulfilled, they will be invested in the rest of your speech. They will therefore listen to your speech in order to find out how they can     meet that need.

Introduction

The introduction is where you explain what your issue is. You need to show that you have a deep understanding of the topic and also an assured sense that what you’re persuading your audience of is right beyond doubt. This is the time to explain any background information behind your issue which your audience needs to be aware of. It’s the time to explain what a plebiscite is. It’s the time to explain that euthanasia has nothing to do with Singaporean teens. But please don’t just read out the Wikipedia article related to your topic- it’s boring. Keep it relevant and tight. You have a time limit.

The second part of the introduction is you establishing your argument. It relates to how you wrote your hook and how you intend to progress through the evidence and sub arguments. Are you going to focus on establishing your issue as a crisis of compassion or as pure logic? Are you going to be aggressive or gentle? What are you going to target in your specific audience- what will they care about and how will you use that to your advantage?

Content

At this point, all your work in setting up the need and your argument comes to the fore. This is where you outline your arguments and explain the reasons why you are correct and the only acceptable response from your audience is the one you are offering.

I would recommend having no more than 3 main points in your oral. Any more and it will be too long. Any less and it will seem like your argument is unsupported and will therefore be unconvincing. There are studies which I could go into about why the number 3 works but just trust me. It’s the best amount of arguments.

For each argument you must have evidence to support it. This can be concrete evidence like facts and stats, or it can be anecdotal evidence. Just remember who your audience is and which pieces of evidence will be the most effective for them. Ensure your evidence is supporting your argument, not the other way around. There’s nothing duller than a list of statistics and it will seem like you don’t really understand the issue, you’ve just read some information about it. By starting with an argument and backing it up with evidence, it ensures that you’re considering both aspects.

The key thing to consider here is have I met the need which I set up in the hook? If you told me a story about how sad it is that our young people can’t find jobs, have you told me what should be done to make sure “Sally” can now get meaningful work? If not, my need is left unmet and I am therefore unpersuaded by your speech.

Conclusion

Finally, it’s time to conclude. This is where you bring it back to your audience and what you want their response to be. Are you looking for personal active or passive agreeance? Do you want them to sign a petition? Change their own behaviour? OR, do you just want them to nod along? Agree with you? Shake their heads at the same things you do? Potentially change their vote at the next election? Either is fine but if it is the former, you need to tell them what to do and BRIEFLY, revisit why. Remind them of the consequences if they don’t. Similarly, remind them of the consequences if they don’t believe the way you want them to. Finish STRONG. Finish with a statement of fact that cannot be refuted. Finish the way you want your speech to remembered. Finish with something that will leave the audience thinking.

NB: Finishing by questioning the audience is sometimes effective but can be overdone and a bit predictable. Be careful and see how it sounds when you’re practising. 

Understanding

This is key. Know your issue back to front. I shouldn’t be able to learn more about your issue from an hour of casual googling. I should be able to ask you questions about stakeholders, key points, the historical background and the various opinions on it and you should be able to generally address these. Obviously, no one is expecting you to know everything but I certainly need you to be well versed in the issue you choose.

Presentation/Passion

Make sure you’re passionate about your issue, or at least make sure you can pretend that you’re passionate about it. Practice makes perfect and your use of voice, body language and eye contact is key to convincing me to care as much as you do about negative gearing. Good luck.

Hopefully this HICCUP structure will help your speech go off without one. It’s just a rough guide but I think it’s a good one. Just remember the cardinal rules of public speaking:

  • Fake it til you make it
  • Practise makes perfect
  • That audience in their underwear trick doesn’t work and it’s super weird if your audience are your teachers. Just… done.

Next week, we’ll look at the Statement of Intention and what you should include in it to make sure you get the maximum marks possible.

Happy Speaking!

5 Minute Friday

Linking up with other bloggers is one thing I’d love to do as I embark on this journey and one way I want to do that is by joining blog events such as this writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung at Heading Home. It’s exactly what it sounds like- there’s a prompt set up and you free write (no editing, no planning, no over thinking… just WRITE) for those 5 minutes. Sounds like fun and everyone can take 5 minutes out  of their day to stimulate their thinking muscles.

Join us!

Today’s prompt was “MIDDLE”

My writing:

Summer holidays. But it’s not really holidays anymore. I’m just unemployed- but the next stage has not yet begun- I’m not in routine. I don’t have a CRT wake up call to hope for. My schedule is made up by what I, not my future tutoring students, decide to pencil in.

January. It’s between the rush of Christmas and the anticipation of back-to-school-birthday-month madness that I’ve always felt most productive and PRESENT. There were lessons to plan and people to see and places to go and now?

Now, that time of rest stretches on to the beyond and is without an end in sight.

That’s terrifying.

And that’s ok.

And I just need to embrace being in the middle of two great, big adventures and accept that this may actually  be another one all on its own.

END.

It’s been a while since I’ve done free writing and it’s so liberating and natural but goes against all my perfectionist tendencies. Maybe that’s why it’s called “free writing”.