Sixth Form Leadership Team Hosts Jenny Harrison for Training Workshop
On Tuesday 6th September, the new Sixth Form leadership team was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Jenny Harrison. Jenny has had a successful career in television, having worked as a reporter (both domestically and much further afield) for both ITV and CNN. Now a consultant, Jenny travels the world to collaborate with clients on their communications requirements.
Communication is central to our roles as Head Girls, House Captains and Committee Leaders. Whether we are brainstorming in teams or individually presenting in front of an audience, understanding how to communicate our ideas effectively is essential. Hence, we were all very eager to absorb Jenny’s numerous pearls of wisdom from her experience of working in the media.
We spent the first part of our session discussing our leadership roles. This process was invaluable as it marked the first time we had all assembled as team, and it helped us to understand our function within the student body. Furthermore, Jenny was brave enough to ask the some of the questions that the rest of us hadn’t dared attempt (what does the Enrichment Committee actually do?), encouraging us to think carefully about the true purpose of our roles.
Once we had developed a more thorough understanding of our positions, we were given some valuable tips on public speaking. We learnt how imperative it is to tailor your speech to your audience, ensuring presentations are interesting, enjoyable and persuasive. We were encouraged to consider the importance of structure with regards to making a speech clear and punchy (having been reminded that, in the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’). Beyond the technical aspects of being a good communicator, Jenny referred to the importance of authenticity. This involves communicating in a natural manner, with a comfortable level of energy and enthusiasm. We learned that the best way to achieve fluency as a speaker is with plenty of practice and experience.
With this in mind, some members of the leadership team had a go at speaking in front of an audience. The House Captains and leaders of the Communications, Marketing and Enrichment committees spoke to Year 12 about their roles and plans for the coming year. As well as providing some good communication practice for our leaders, this exercise was a positive first step towards encouraging Year 12s to get involved in the Sixth Form committees.
Jenny Harrison’s visit certainly got the school year off to a good start. She motivated us to approach our leadership positions with enthusiasm; and, in the space of a couple of hours, we felt we had a thorough grounding in the art of communication. We areincredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity of working with her.
Emma Gosling and Harriet Solomon - Sixth Form