By Cindy Zheng Yixin (President)
Although our club is named after an iconic object from judicial proceedings, our CCA has nothing to do with law. (Sorry, prospective law students!) However, it does have everything to do with public speaking. If that’s something that sounds terrifying to you, read on! We completely empathise with your fright, and implore you to give our CCA the chance to help turn that fear into a strength!
Public speaking can be especially daunting, and we, as members of a CCA that revolves around making speeches, understand that All Too Well. Whether it is experiencing a Glitch and blanking out in the middle of a speech or stuttering and losing track of your script, all these hellish scenarios are Nothing New to us. However, through frequent speech delivery practice and training every term, we will empower you with essential speaking skills while maintaining a conducive space for you to learn and get feedback.
Further, as a member of Gavel Club, you will have full control of your speeches and the absolute freedom to discover your own speaking style and personal voice. Previous topics included everything under the sun: an entire crash course on the beauty of maths, a passionate rant of adoration to an anime character to a meaningful speech on the societal inequality that comes from time’s unequal treatment of different people. As this current flurry of Taylor Swift references clearly shows, we adore adding our personal touches to speeches and “unserious” things are absolutely welcome!
Moving on to the finer details of our CCA, we host training sessions once per week on Wednesdays, from 8.30am to 11am, and usually go for CCA lunches together afterwards! Training happens in classrooms and occasionally LTs, and we utilise most of the 2.5h to allow members to present speeches and receive immediate feedback.
We are also a subsidiary club of Toastmasters International, meaning you will get a certificate that endorses your (hopefully by then) functional oratory skills! However, to get that certificate, you will have to deliver at least 10 speeches in front of the CCA by the time you graduate. This may sound daunting, but don’t worry! The CCA is a judgement-free place, and after every speech, you’ll receive constructive and kind comments to help you grow! All in all, our CCA is proudly low commitment while promising high rewards that you can reap as long as you put your heart and soul into it!
Throughout the school year, we participate in some speech competitions, such as the Orator’s Trophy organised by ACJC, to hone our skills on different platforms. We also emcee for school events, even occasionally moderating panels and discussions for the school.
If everything you’ve read has appealed to you, we welcome you to join us! There are no prerequisites, but a huge plus is if you have some interesting takes, opinions or stories. We would love to learn more about you! Though some of us may have more speaking experience, you shouldn’t be intimidated or feel unwelcome because no matter your speaking ability, everyone is welcome as long as you have interest and the humility to learn, and openness and enthusiasm towards the CCA :)
On a final note, though it is true that “You’re On Your Own Kid” in overcoming your anxieties about public speaking, we hope to give you an encouraging community and a judgement-free environment as you grow in confidence and eloquence. So hopefully, “Dear Reader”, you’ve been moved by our Taylor Swift references and sincere love for public speaking, and we’ll be seeing you at the CCA auditions in 2023!