KO Hosts Virtual Public Speaking Tournament - Kingswood Oxford

Forensic Union

February 08, 2021

KO Hosts Virtual Public Speaking Tournament

While most of us were busy preparing cheesy dips and finalizing our Super Bowl box pools this weekend, our Wyverns were hard at work hosting a Zoom public speaking tournament with over 52 competitors from 11 schools across New England, including St. Sebastian’s, Stoneleigh-Burnham, The Governor’s Academy, Deerfield, Northfield Mount Hermon, Roxbury Latin, Groton, Winsor, Loomis, and Taft. The categories for the speeches included After Dinner, Persuasive, Impromptu, and Ethical Dilemma. Scoring by the judges ranged 95-100 perfect, 90-95 flawless, 85-90 very good, 80-85 good job, 80-85 use improvement, under 75 not well prepared.


Our team was mostly novice public speakers who are still mastering the events, and we are very proud of their strong showing despite their relative lack of experience. They racked up a collective 3,368 points! Congratulations to Bassil Chughtai, Minseo Kim, Arav Kumar, Andrew La Croix, and Luke Roen prepared impressive speeches and competed in the tournament in four rounds of extemporaneous and prepared speaking. In one speech, Kim did an admirable job arguing how Hollywood movies portray women in either unrealistic and overly idealistic roles, which further compounds women’s identity issues and believes that the entertainment industry should lead the fight against gender inequality and offer roles based on reality. Kim scored a 90 for her speech, a huge win! (As an aside, Chaitanya Karanam and Braden Flowers also broke 90 earlier this year in an advanced debate.)


Forensic Union advisor Heather Wayne said, “Our truly remarkable Forensic Union officers are also to be commended for their hard work organizing the tournament; they went above and beyond to help everything go smoothly on Zoom, from helping assign people to breakout rooms, to serving as judges, to acting as timers, to giving the welcome speech, to drafting prompts for speeches, to tallying up scores in the tab room, and more! We’re so grateful to Forensic Union officers Mary Ellen Carroll, Elsa June Ciscel, Braden Flowers, Ian Givens, Chaitanya Karanam, Samhita Kashyap, Minseo Kim, Jane Liang, Christina Lu, Sam Merkatz, Risha Ranjan, Braeden Rose, and Teddy Schwartz. All of them put in many hours this week–during lunches, after school, in the morning, in the evening, over email, over Zoom–ensuring our tournament would run smoothly. We received many compliments from other schools about how carefully organized the tournament was, and the officers helped make that happen.” 


Johny Kung, Manu Narasimhan, Faith Potter, Justin Rios, and Mason Zimmer volunteered their day to serve as timers and organizers of each round.

Fellow Forensic Union advisor Michelle Caswell provided her unmatched thoughtfulness and organization in her behind-the-scenes work in the months leading up to the event.

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