On Monday 17 October 2016, the Public Speaking Society hosted an “Open Afternoon” to which all girls were invited to attend.

This occasion consisted of a presentation on the opportunities offered by the society. It included information about opportunities to compete at national and even international level.

The highlight of the afternoon, however, was the guest speaker. Lauren Gildenhuys joined us for the afternoon. Shewho was not only Head of Public Speaking in 2013 but also Head of School joined us for the afternoon. Lauren now studies Law at UCT and is an Allan Gray Orbis Fellow. She spoke to the society about the power of communication and how being a member of the society helped shaped her as an individual. She made reference to the society greatly assisting her on a personal as well as professional level. She also talked to us about how Public Speaking played an instrumental role in the person she is today and helped shape her thinking. She encouraged us to work hard for what we want but also to be open minded and kind.

Lauren delivered a highly engaging and inspirational speech, one that had girls raising their hands in earnest when the floor was opened for questions. Lauren did not only inspire us as public speakers, but inspired us as people. Her talk resonated with each and every one of us in the room, not just a select few.

Overall, the afternoon proved to be a great success. Many girls left there inspired and excited about what the society has to offer. We can only hope that the society will grow in numbers and go from strength to strength for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

Lauren Gildenhuys