Public speaking for change

2019-08-27 06:00

The non-profit organisation, Bottomup, will host a public speaking event where learners can use their skills to foster change in the community.

Learners from various high schools in the Grassy Park area will be delivering speeches at the annual Bottomup Speak Up Festival. This year, the learners will prepare speeches under the theme: “Recognise, Analyse and Re-imagine”. The Speak Up Festival is a public speaking skills programme by Bottomup which aims to educate learners about critical social theory while developing strong communications skills.

According to Helene Rousseau, director of the non-profit organisation, Bottomup, learners from Fairmount, Zeekoevlei and Lotus River High School will be given a platform to deliver speeches about issues affecting them in the community.

According to a statement, these speeches will seek to question the dominant narratives and stories that exist around the learners by connecting their personal stories to the wider structures and systems that shape these stories.

According to Rousseau these learners will recognise issues, discover why these issues take place and see how they can re-imagine these problems and change them. She says 15 learners will prepare speeches for the event. This is the second time the organisation is hosting the event and this year, they will be providing the learners with an even bigger platform to showcase their public speaking skills.

Rousseau says the organisation works with these high school learners to allow them to talk about issues they can change in the community.

“Public speaking skills are important for these learners and our organisation want these learners to use their public speaking skills for change,” she says.

This year, the annual Bottomup Speak Up Festival will take place on Saturday 7 September at the Nassau Auditorium at Groote Schuur High School in Newlands.

V Tickets and updates are available via the Speak Up event on the Bottomup Facebook page. Tickets are available on Quicket and can be found by searching “Speak Up Festival 2019”. For more information on Bottomup visit the website at


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