Teenage girls take part in boot camp to boost confidence and public speaking skills
Girls from across the island were inspired to stand up for themselves and their beliefs during a boot camp organised by a professional development organisation.
WeSpeak Bermuda organised the event for 35 high school students, aged 15 to 17 from seven schools.
Formed in 2019, WeSpeak Bermuda aims to boost women’s confidence and public speaking skills through coaching and learning opportunities.
Taking place at Axa XL, yesterday’s event was kicked off by journalist Maya Palacio and hosted by WeSpeak coach Patrina O’Connor-Paynter.
WeSpeak teen committee chair Sarah Dunstan said: “There was so much positive energy in the room and in just six hours, feelings about public speaking ranged from ‘anxious’ to ‘confident’ – which is incredible considering this is just the start of their public speaking journey.”
At the end of the event, participants received completion certificates, a WeSpeak notepad, cookies and author Christine Hunter Arscott’s new book, Begin Boldly.
Tamara Dean, from The Berkeley Institute, said: “I learnt you have a lot more similarities to other people than you might think, and the way you are feeling, someone else might be feeling the same way too.
“As long as you are confident, you may have to fake it til you make it, but it is worth it, you might even get some new friends out of it.”
Bridget Repose, from Warwick Academy, said: “What I took away is that with practice, you can get better, no matter how shy you might feel at the start; I feel pretty comfortable with public speaking now.”
Director of staff development and instruction at The Berkeley Institute, Keisha Allen-Smith, said: “I am grateful to be a part of this event and it was wonderful to witness these young women transition from quiet and shy in the morning to confident and volunteering to speak in front of the entire group by the afternoon.”
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