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Arrows Excel in Northfield Mount Hermon Public Speaking Competition

On Sunday, March 28, 2021, 6 members of the St. Sebastian's Debate Team participated in the Northfield Mount Hermon Public Speaking Competition. 

Competitors were required to participate in three categories of public speaking: Interpretive Reading, Persuasive or After Dinner Speaking, and Impromptu Speaking. Our Team consisted of Alessandro Barbiellini '21, Jack Flynn '22, Paul White '22, Eddie Ryan '23, Brendan Fulham '24 and James Joyce '24.

Congratulations to Eddie Ryan who won 1st Place in the Persuasive Speaking Competition. In this event, speakers deliver a 7–10 minute original speech and are required to take a problem-solution approach. They are judged on the following criteria: analysis of the problem, knowledge of the topic, persuasiveness of the proposed solution, logic, audience appeal, originality of approach, and delivery. Eddie's achievement was all the more remarkable because this was a de facto advanced tournament with most speakers in their junior or senior years (Eddie is a sophomore).

Congratulations, as well, to Alessandro Barbiellini and Jack Flynn who earned 3rd Place honors in Impromptu Speaking. Speakers in this category choose one of three topics previously unknown to them (a word, phrase, or quotation) and are then given 2 minutes to prepare a 3-5 minute speech which they must deliver without the use of notes. Speakers are judged on adherence to the topic, organization, audience appeal, aptness of supportive material, and delivery.


34 Advanced Debaters from 8 Independent Schools competed in the Tournament:


Governor's Academy

Groton School

Hotchkiss School

Northfield Mount Hermon School

Stoneleigh Burnham School

St. Sebastian's School

Roxbury Latin School

Winsor School