CCA Previews ’22: Raffles Gavel Club

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By Sonia Maya (22A01C), Chairperson, Chen Bi Rui (22A01A), Vice-Chairperson, and Senthilkumaran Shruteekha (22S03E), Vice-Chairperson

Gavel? Isn’t that the law club?

(Un)fortunately, Gavel isn’t a club affiliated to any prestigious law school, nor do we spend our sessions learning the penal code by heart. 

In actuality, Gavel Club is a subsidiary of Toastmasters International, an organisation that aims to empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. At Gavel, we build members up to become confident speakers and people. Through a plethora of oratorical drills and impromptu speeches, Gaveliers are able to hone the many qualities needed to become an articulate speaker. 

Though public speaking is commonly perceived as dreadful and terrifying, we at Gavel hope to dispel that myth by creating a nurturing and safe environment where our speakers are free to speak on anything and everything, from their favorite books to the latest celebrity gossip (Trust me, we’ve seen it all!). 

Afraid you don’t have the relevant experience to join us? Fret not, for Gavel welcomes everyone, no matter your background. Our only expectation? A willingness to learn and a desire to grow as a speaker. 

If we’ve managed to pique your interest thus far, here are a few things you should know about us.

We hold CCA sessions every Wednesday, from 8.30am to 11am (due to the new 2 hour CCA restrictions however, we end at 10.30am for the time being). Our sessions typically focus on either one of two things: speech delivery or oratorical drills. During sessions focused on the former, members are expected to deliver prepared speeches roughly 5 to 10 minutes long. Members are given free rein to speak about anything they like, allowing Gaveliers to display their personal voice (literally) in their speeches. 

Sessions focused on the latter are typically more interactive, as members are forced out of their comfort zones. A common game we play is “Winging It!”, where Gaveliers are expected to deliver a speech on a topic which includes a very complex and foreign word they likely don’t know the meaning of. The game challenges Gaveliers to speak with authority and conviction even though they likely have no idea what they’re talking about. Through such exercises, we not only grow to become more convincing speakers, but bond over silly things like the misconception that ‘superchery’ refers to excessive adoration.

Your 1.5 years at Gavel will also earn you a globally-recognised Toastmasters accreditation, certifying you as a speaker and advocate. The speeches we deliver during CCA sessions are recognised as speaking projects, a part of Toastmasters International’s established curriculum. Upon completion of the 10 speaking projects in this curriculum, Gaveliers achieve this accreditation. 

Beyond the A22 classroom, Gaveliers are given the opportunity to emcee school-wide events such as Founder’s Day and Farewell Assembly. Through such large-scale public speaking projects, Gaveliers can test their true confidence as speakers and are able to more effectively overcome the awful feeling of stage fright. We also participate in many national speaking competitions, such as the Speak Out! Competition by Dunman High School in 2021. 

If what you’ve read about our CCA has appealed to you in any way, we encourage and welcome you to make Gavel your home! Though our primary goal is to build each other up as articulate and capable speakers, we have no doubt built incredible bonds working towards this common goal. 

*Cover image taken during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.

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