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Bac 2021: high school girls prepare for the grand oral with specialists in eloquence



Charly, short hair and a slender face, describes in five minutes the hyperacusis syndrome, handling complex notions of physics with ease. This high school student from Vitré (Ille-et-Vilaine) has just declaimed one of the two oral presentations that she prepared for the grand oral of the bac. On D-day, she will have twenty minutes to refine the presentation of one of the subjects and then spend twenty minutes in front of a jury of two teachers. They will assess the clarity of his words, his strength of conviction, his ability to argue and his knowledge.

→ ANALYSIS. Bac 2021: the great oral continues to be debated

An unprecedented test, coefficient 10 in general route, which does not particularly frighten him. ” I had a good mark on the oral exam and I have just arrived in the semifinals of an eloquence competition, she confides. But in my high school, we haven’t been preparing for it for a long time. We did not have a very peaceful year… ”

Learn to pose your voice

When her mother told her about the New Speakers initiative, offering to train high school girls for free, she jumped at the opportunity. These training circles between women, present in the West and in Paris, are aimed in particular at professionals who wish to express themselves better in public. ” In a society where we tend to put women in competition, we defend mutual aid and sorority ”, indicates its founder, Fanny Dufour. On Saturday June 5, it brought together around a hundred volunteers – consultants, business leaders, actresses, etc. – to advise 200 high school girls, via the Zoom application.

When I speak, I sometimes have big surges of stress and my voice goes through the highs », Says Charlotte, a high school student in Châteaubriant (Loire-Atlantique), who has prepared a presentation on education according to Kant. Her “coach” of the day, Carole Bigot, a public speaking trainer in Nantes, is delighted to pass on her experience. ” Keep sentences short, simple and breathe at the end of each one, she suggests to Charly and Charlotte. Remember to look the jury in the eye, even if that’s a little scary, and don’t learn your texts by heart.

Break a glass ceiling

In another virtual room, Clémence Aurore, coach and director, advises warm-up exercises for the mouth to better articulate and then deep breathing so as not to run out of breath while speaking. Claire, who has prepared a topic on Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hopes to become a doctor, welcomes the new ordeal, “ because it allows to show other skills than in writing “.

These exchanges excite both the students, who gain confidence, and the trainers, seduced by the quality and diversity of the work. ” Remember to make a very nice sentence at the beginning and a very nice closing sentence, explains the trainer. The jury must take off and land with you. Behind this practical advice, these godmothers for a day hope to break a glass ceiling on women’s speaking in public. In the meantime, the young girls leave with resources on eloquence, accessible via an Internet link (1). ” To pass on to the boys! “, smiles Fanny Dufour.

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