CCA Previews ’17: Gavel Club

By Phoebe Aw (17S03L), Vice-President, Leia Teo (17S03N), Event Head, and Yan Jun Yi (17A01A), Event Head

When tasked to deliver a speech, or just to say something in front of the class, we often have a vague inkling of what to present, but lack the words and thus means to express our thoughts. The art of speaking, like all other arts, is not about delivering the perfect speech. Instead, it is about achieving mastery over our words and thoughts, sharpening them in mind and delivering them with clarity and focus. It is here in Gavel Club where we work together to hone this critical skill.

So, what is Gavel Club? We are a subsidiary of Toastmasters International, which means that we make a considerable amount of speeches during CCA. We follow the established curriculum consisting of 10 speaking projects as part of club activities. Once you’ve completed this, a globally-recognised Toastmasters accreditation will be given, making each member a certified speaker and voice for advocacy.

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Fun at Gavel (don’t worry – we have sessions in air conditioned classrooms!)

During sessions, we carry out various speech activities and exercises designed to nurture each member through practice, experience, feedback and mentorship. Besides speaking, we also believe in the power of listening. Here at Gavel Club, we provide a safe space for every member to explore issues close to their heart. So if you would like to speak about something, hear different perspectives, or just learn more about speech-making, Gavel welcomes you!

We hold sessions twice a week, with each session lasting about two hours. During these sessions members meet to complete their Toastmasters projects, as well as learn from each other.

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Gavel supporting our members at the Tampines JC Inter-Junior College/Combined Institution Oratorical Competition

Gavel also provides other opportunities growth and learning. We frequently participate in (and win!) competitions organised by other Gavel Clubs, as well as contribute to in-house activities such as emceeing for school-wide events. This year, Reasons To Speak was organised, an innovative platform designed to empower students to speak before fellow Rafflesians about topics they are passionate about. Through the experience, a variety of voices were heard and appreciated by the community. We’ve heard about topics ranging the importance of being not only a “Jack of All Trades”, but a “Master of All”, to racial and national identity– truly a melting pot of ideas and opinions!

Here at Raffles, Gavel is more than just a club. We are a close-knit community of driven and passionate students with a wide range of interests and personalities. It is also a place where some of the strongest friendships can be developed. We create a supportive, trusting environment free of judgement for each and every member who joins us.

Gavel Club welcomes all interested Rafflesians, regardless of your CCA background or speaking ability. We select individuals not based on ability, but on one’s willingness to learn and improve, as well as humility and receptiveness to criticism. We look forward to welcoming our new batch of speakers, whom we hope will become great speakers and listeners through their time in Gavel.

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