New Talent Development Communication Programme – starting January 2018

Dear Parents,

DSA selection process will be focusing on talent and not academics from 2018. Many children who will be going through DSA selection in 2018 are caught in a bind especially if they have not focused on developing a talent.

Moving forward, I will be introducing a Talent Development Communications Programme that will help students who will be attempting the DSA route in 2020 and 2021. Soothsayers may say it is a little too early to prepare for DSA however I beg to differ especially if you intend to develop a talent in your children. Talent development takes a few years especially if it is in the area of Public Speaking and Debates.

As the commitment on the part of your children will be 2 to 3 years, it is recommended that you only enroll your children in Talent Development if they have a love for public speaking, debates and creative writing or it will be extremely stressful for your children.

In order to ensure the success of every child who signs up for Talent Development, I will personally be coaching these classes. As my schedule is limited, I may only be able to offer one class per grade. Children in the regular LAMDA and Trinity College Communications classes will still be taught by the other highly qualified trainers at our centre. I will  return to teaching primary students full-time from January 2018 while the teen classes will be taught by Ms Joyce Carter.

(This will be the last year I will be teaching teens for a while so if you would like your teen to take my class this year, there are still 7 places in the Trinity Grade 4 class for Semester 2 starting in July 2017)


Here’s a timeline for Talent Development Programme starting in January 2018 (for students born in 2009):

Year 1 – (Primary 3)

Semester 1 (January to May 2018) – LAMDA Grade 2 (Foundation skills 1)

June Holidays Workshop – Preparation for SPAF 2018 competition (Creative Writing and verse Categories)

Semester 2 (July to Nov 2018) – LAMDA Grade 3 (Foundation skills 2)

Year 2 – (Primary 4)

Semester 1 (January to May 2019) – Trinity College Grade 2 (with focus on competition training in the areas of Story-telling and public speaking)

June Holidays Workshop – Preparation for SPAF 2019 competition (Creative Writing, Public Speaking Categories)

Semester 2 (July to Nov 2019) – Trinity College Grade 3 (with focus on Impromptu speaking and Current Affairs )

Year 3 – (Primary 5)

Semester 1 (January to May 2020) – Trinity College Grade 4 (with focus on Debating)

June Holidays Workshop – Preparation for SPAF 2020 competition (Creative Writing, Public Speaking and Impromptu Categories)

Semester 2 (July to Nov 2020) – Trinity College Grade 5 (with focus on Success principles.)

Year 4 – (Primary 6)

Semester 1 (January to May 2021) –  DSA Preparation for the following Domains:

  • English
  • Communications
  • Creative Expressions
  • Public Speaking and Debate
  • Bi-lingual
  • Creative Writing/Literary Arts

Here’s a timeline for the Talent Development Programme starting in January 2018 (for students born in 2008) :

Year 1 – (Primary 4)

Semester 1 (January to May 2018) – Trinity College Grade 2 (with focus on competition training in the areas of Story-telling and public speaking)

June Holidays Workshop – Preparation for SPAF 2018 competition (Creative Writing, Public Speaking Categories)

Semester 2 (July to Nov 2018) – Trinity College Grade 3 (with focus on Impromptu speaking and Current Affairs )

Year 2 – (Primary 5)

Semester 1 (January to May 2019) – Trinity College Grade 4 (with focus on Debating)

June Holidays Workshop – Preparation for SPAF 2019 competition (Creative Writing, Public Speaking and Impromptu Categories)

Semester 2 (July to Nov 2019) – Trinity College Grade 5 (with focus on Success principles)

Year 3 – (Primary 6)

Semester 1 (January to May 2020)  – DSA Preparation for the following Domains:

  • English
  • Communications
  • Creative Expressions
  • Public Speaking and Debate
  • Bi-lingual
  • Creative Writing/Literary Arts

Students in the Talent Development Programme are encouraged to participate in communications/writing competitions through their schools and public competitions. All students are also strongly encouraged to take the Trinity College Graded examinations for each grade in order to aim for the High Achiever Award from Trinity College London. For those who show a strong creative writing ability, they will be encouraged to participate in The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.

This programme focuses on developing communication talent and confidence in primary students to prepare them for the rigors of IP and Specialist secondary schools.

If you have any questions about the Talent Development Programme, you may email me at carter@jcartercentre.com

For students who are in Primary 4 this year, you may enroll in the Trinity Grade 2 class with competition training  starting in July 2017. There are still 2 places left. I will personally be teaching the class. Please call 67372700 to register.

Regards,

Jackeline Carter (Founder of J Carter Centre for Public Speaking)

Talent

Our talented students

Another Perfect Score in the Trinity College Graded Examinations in Communication Skills – Themis Lai

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We have achieved another first at J Carter Centre for Public Speaking! Congratulations to our student Themis Lai for scoring 100 marks in the Trinity College Graded Examinations in Communication Skills – Grade 3.

In November 2016, at the tender age of 9 years, Themis was able to impress a tough examiner from United Kingdom with a speech based on a news article titled “Plot to attack Marina Bay with rocket from Batam foiled”. Although she is not the first student at our centre to achieve a perfect score in this exam, she is our youngest to date. Students attempting Grade 3 are usually 11 or 12 years old however Themis displayed an amazing talent in public speaking when she was doing the LAMDA Speaking in Public programme at age 8 and was talent spotted to move into the more challenging Trinity College Communication Skills programme by one of our trainers.

Themis is currently preparing for the Grade 4 examinations in May 2017 and will be completing her Grade 5 by end of 2017. We look forward to seeing her achieve even more amazing results this year.

If you are keen to enrol your child in our Trinity College Communication Skills programme, please call our centre at 67372700 for more information. We are currently registering students for semester 2 and places are filling up very fast. We will be offering classes ranging from Grade 2 to Grade 7 for semester 2.

You can also ask about our unique programmes such as the Grade 2 with Competition Coaching and DSA Preparation Course.

You may visit this link for updates on vacancies: http://jcartercentre.com/schedule-s2-2017/

Direct School Admissions – FAQ

2016 saw many changes to the DSA selection process and it was certainly a trial run to test out upcoming changes to the DSA system in 2017. Competition for IP schools was the toughest since its inception in 2004 due to increase applications. At the end of the 2016 selection process, there were many surprise outcomes as well as disappointments among the parents and students who undertook this route.  As the new year approaches, the rat race will begin all over again for students talking the PSLE in 2017. The enquiries are coming in and the same questions are being asked by a new cohort of students and parents. Preparation has already started for some while others are just beginning to consider attempting DSA. To start off the new year, I have put together a series of FAQs to help you understand this process better and to save myself the need to sound like a broken record. If you have more questions which I may be able to answer, you can post it on the Contact Form. So, lets get started.

What are the chances of my child getting a spot in an IP school without attempting DSA?

The chances are very good if your child has constantly attain excellent results since Primary 4 in all subjects. This will most likely mean that your child will achieve a T-score ranging from a possible high 250s and above. This will allow your child to meet the COP (Cut- off Point) of IP schools. The most coveted schools are RI, RGS, NYGH, HCI and their COPs range from 258-264. If your child’s academic results tend to fluctuate , there will be a 50% chance that your child can still meet the COPs of the other IP schools. The other option is to opt for coveted Express schools such as MGS, ACSI, CHJI St Nick, SJI, VS and SCGS as their COPs range from a high 240s to mid 250s.

From your personal experience, what were some of the lengths a parent would go through for their child to succeed in DSA?

If money is abundant, the sky is the limit. Even if that is not the case, parents will make sacrifices to ensure their children have a chance of entering a coveted school. It can start as early as kindergarten if the aim is to help the child develop a talent or life skill. Enrichment classes in areas such as sports, music and ballet are most common however parents are now moving towards developing communication and leadership skills in their children. The easiest way to figure out what kind of enrichment classes to consider is by looking at the domains offered by IP schools during the DSA selection process. Most parents do develop their children’s talent in one area if it shows up early in a child’s life however as many children are late developers, talents are usually discovered much later when they are in Primary 3 or 4 and some in secondary school. As such some parents will not leave it to chance and start placing their children through different enrichment courses in order to discover it. Its like being in a maze and you have to keep walking until you find the middle. Some times you take a wrong turn so you just have to double back and start all over again. This is a very expensive option so I don’t recommend it. Also your child will be extremely unhappy being forced to attend lessons that do not interest them.

Tuition (or in some cases ‘cram’ schools) with ‘Super Tutors’ are not uncommon. This is another expensive affair. Six years ago, some of my communication students told me that they would work with 10 to 14 different tutors per week but now a days the number has reduced to 4 to 7 tutors per week.

Competition is another popular area – the more the merrier! Well maybe not so merry for the children unless they are competitive by nature. Private competitions are becoming more popular as schools tend to select the same group of students for school base competitions leaving out many students who are keen. There are also many different types of competitions from Academic, Arts, Sports and more. The entry fees are usually affordable however once the children compete at the International level, it becomes very expensive.

Which group of children embark on the DSA selection process and why do they choose this route?

In the early days of DSA, GEP (Gifted Education Programme) and Sport students make up the bulk of the applicants. Now a days, anyone will try DSA if they are aiming for the IP track because these schools take in up to 50% of their students through DSA and the Specialise Schools like SOTA, NUS HIGH, SST and Sports school take in 90% to 100% via DSA.

I understand that the application process differs from school to school. Can you take us through the process briefly?

You are correct! Every school has their own unique selection process. The simplest only requires an application (usually Express Government Schools) while others require the the addition of Personal Statements, Portfolio, GAT/Subject testing, Half-day selection and Interview. If your child chooses the sports or performance domain, there will be trials and auditions. (Mostly IP schools). Specific information can be found on the school’s website.

The government recently announced some proposed changes to the DSA selection criteria. What is your reaction to the proposed changes? Will it help reduce stress?

Starting from 2017, DSA selection will have more emphasis on talents and less on academics. This is a return to the original purpose of DSA which is to provide talented students an opportunity to enter a coveted school without needing to achieve the required T-score.

Will this reduce stress? Yes, if we are looking at Express schools. More students will have a chance of securing a place with a lower T-score if they are talented in some area. No, if the goal is to enter an IP school. No matter how talented your child is in one area, academics still plays a major role. If students do not have good academic ability, they will not be able to complete the IP programme and will be place in the O’level track. Should too many students in an IP school end up in the O’level track, the standard and reputation of the school will be affected. So IP schools will try to take in those who are not only talented but show an ability to survive the academic rigours.  This means parents will spend more time and money developing a talent as well as focus on academics if the goal is the IP track.

The upcoming changes will also encourage more students to attempt the DSA selection in the hopes of getting a place. Thus competition will be tougher. 2016 saw a spike in the number of students attempting DSA. Many IP schools also started implementing changes to the selection process in 2016 as a test run before the official announcement in 2017.

Will GEP students still receive priority during the DSA selection in 2017?

I don’t know the overall percentage of GEP students getting a CO (Confirm Offer) in 2016 but I did notice more of my main stream students getting a CO or wait-listed in 2016. Those who were wait-listed received a CO after the PSLE results were released. Many of my students’ parents also gave feedback that fewer GEP students in their children’s schools received a CO from coveted IP schools. So, it may be safe to say that GEP students need to offer more than just academic achievements unless it is in areas such as Math/Science Olympiads.

Do you think DSA should be removed entirely?

Singapore believes in meritocracy and DSA is really about meritocracy. If one has the ability, one should be given the opportunity. Over the years, had it not been for DSA, 50% of the students that I have coached in Communications skills would not have gotten into IP schools because of the high T-scores.

The DSA process is also a learning journey for students who attempt it as they learn valuable life skills while preparing for the selection process. Skills such as persuasion, social interaction, problem solving, interview etiquette to name a few. All this will come in useful even if they do not receive a CO.

Getting a CO also means less stress during PSLE for both students and parents. With less worry, students end up performing better in the examination.

If I want you to coach my child on Interview Skills, how can I contact you?

You can click this link and submit your request. If my service matches your child’s need, we will instruct you on how to do the online booking.

http://jcartercentre.com/dsa-booking/

If we are unable to help you, I will advise you on how to move forward.

Here’s wishing everyone a successful DSA journey in 2017!

Regards,

Jackeline Carter

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Direct School Admissions to Raffles Institution – Speech by Brendan Hong

Majority of parents in Singapore dream of their children entering a top school. They will do everything in their power to help their children succeed.

As most of you are aware, entry into secondary schools is usually based on the results of the Primary School Leaving Examinations or PSLE. However, this route can be the toughest as you need to achieve a near perfect score in order to gain a place in a top school. Recognising that not all students can achieve such high academic scores, top schools will admit students via the Direct School Admissions scheme or (DSA).

What is DSA? For those who don’t know, the DSA exercise is an admission exercise that allows participating secondary schools to select Primary 6 students for admission to secondary one. The selection will be based on the students’ achievements and talents before the PSLE results are released.

There are many secondary schools in Singapore and some of them are more “popular” than others. I wanted to get into either Raffles Institution (RI) or Hwa Chong Institution (HCI), both of which are considered by many as the top boys’ schools in the nation. So, it was not easy to get an offer from either schools.

As I have a talent in playing table tennis, I knew that I had a chance of entering one of the top school through DSA. My parents did not want me to try for RI as they preferred HCI instead. However they allowed me to decide which schools I wanted to DSA to and since there was nothing to lose I decided to try both schools. Over the next few days, I felt that my decision was a little rash. There were many students trying for RI and most of them were the best of the best. It would be an incredibly difficult challenge. My table tennis coach decided to train me even harder for the DSA trial for RI, and it was a tiring process. I had to run 6 rounds in the stadium during every training session instead of the usual 3.

The DSA process also included interviews and selection tests. To increase my chances of being selected by the schools, my parents decided to enroll me at J Carter Centre to prepare me for the interviews. I was taught many useful techniques by the helpful Teachers to prepare me to succeed. I was painfully shy during the first lesson but after a few more lessons, I warmed up to the sessions and I had a memorable time learning from the teachers.

Three months to the DSA trials, my table tennis coach began training me harder than before. I was introduced to a lot of new but tedious techniques that was tougher than what I had been doing previously. To make it worse, I had to change the rubber on my table tennis bat to a completely different one. It was hard to adapt and get used to playing with a totally different rubber bat.

I was extremely anxious that the last minute changes would affect my performance during the DSA trails.

On the day of the Raffles Institution’s trial, there were a total of twelve players, ten of which were from the national youth squad. Upon looking at them, I could tell that it was not going to be an easy road ahead for me. I was extremely afraid when the coach arranged for me to play with the singles champion in my age group. It was surprising that I managed to defeat him after an extremely tough fight. All the workouts and training had paid off! After that, I played with a few more youth players and even though I lost to some of them, I felt that I had outdone myself on that day.

Hwa Chong Institution’s trial was a breeze compared to RI but there was still the selection tests which assess the students on academic ability. Both the tests and the interview were difficult but thankfully my teachers at J Carter Centre had prepared me well enough so it was simpler than what I thought it would be.

The weeks before the release of the DSA results, I could feel the tension at home. I could tell my parents were extremely anxious about the DSA results. I was also worried that I would not be able to get a ‘Confirm Offer’ from either schools.

Finally, the letters with the RI and HCI school crest came through the mail. I was over the moon to receive confirmed offers from both schools. I was thus in a dilemma. I did not know which school to choose as I favoured both schools. However, after a long consideration, I decided to go to Raffles Institution as their Table Tennis record in recent years were better than Hwa Chong’s. I also felt that the programs and learning environment in RI would be better for me.

I have now completed my first year in my dream school and I have not regretted my decision to go there.

The school is huge and the learning environment has been good. The classrooms are air-conditioned and the facilities are amazing. The seniors are friendly and not afraid to share their knowledge with the rest of us. The teachers are helpful and creative, often planning interesting activities to enable us to learn better. Direct School Admissions was not only a route to the school I wanted to be a part of but it was also a learning opportunity for me. Surrounding myself with supportive people like my parents, teachers and coaches also prepared me to go through the process with confidence and ease.

The experience also taught me that hard work and perseverance is necessary to get what I want in life.

Thank you.

Brendan Hong – Trinity Communication Skills Grade 5

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P.S. Thank you Brendan for the vote of confidence. Ms Joyce and I enjoy having you as a student at our centre.

Regards, Ms Jackeline

Trinity College London Communication Skills Examinations Results – May/June 2016

Once again our students at J Carter Centre for Public Speaking have achieved amazing results in the Trinity College London Communication Skills Examinations for May/June 2016. Congratulations to all of our students. I am very proud of your achievements. Thank you for your hard work. 

Jackeline Carter 



GRADE 8

  1. Lakshana Kumar – Joint Top in Grade

  2. Leon Long Zeyu  – Joint Top in Grade

  3. Laranya Kumar – High Distinction

  4. Kelly Ong Si Hui – Distinction

  5. Carman Chew  – Distinction

  6. Charlene Chong Jia Xin – Distinction

  7. Long Zepeng – Distinction

  8. Toh Qian Qi –  High Merit

  9. Koh Bei Li – High Merit


GRADE 7

  1. Michael Lang Li-Yuan – Top in Grade

  2. Julian Tay Yong Sheng – High Distinction

  3. Ng Yan Khai Ryan –  Distinction

  4. Yue Shi Quan Sean – Distinction       

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Michael Lang Li-Yuan



GRADE 6

  1. Lau Shen-I – Top in Grade

  2. Loh Yih-Hang – High Distinction

  3. Maya Raisha Zainudin  – High Distinction

  4. Joanne Yate  – High Distinction

  5. Gabriel Alexander Wong Jun Yi – High Distinction

  6. Emmanuel Chong Chen Wei – Distinction

  7. Loh Xian Guo Bryan  – High Merit

  8. Loh Xian Yang Brendan – High Merit

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Lau Shen-I



GRADE 5

  1. Wee Li LIng Zara Grace –  Top in Grade

  2. Chong Rui Ting – High Distinction

  3. Sanshray Karthikeyan – High Distinction

  4. Xan Ng – Distinction

  5. Chong Chan How – Distinction

  6. Loh Li Ing Amelia – High Merit

  7. Jacob Tay Zhi Sheng – High Merit

  8. Stacey Jade Lo – Pass

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Wee Li Ling Zara Grace


GRADE 4

  1. Jermaine Ang (Hong Zhuomin) – Top in Grade

  2. Lim Xin Ni – High Distinction

  3. Alwyn Tok Hong Sheng – High Distinction

  4. Joye Lim Qian Qi – High Distinction

  5. Tan Wei Jun – High Distinction

  6. Khua Yan Han Cedric – High Distinction

  7. Chua Yaw Hong Frederick Vyner – Distinction

  8. Chong Kaelie – Distinction

  9. Hong Chun Yong Brendan – Distinction

  10. Nicholas Yee Sheng Cheung – Distinction

  11. Reyna Ong Si Ting – Distinction

  12. Stephanie Louisa Lo – Merit

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Jermaine Ang (Hong Zhuomin)


GRADE 3

  1. Jethro Lim Lei En – Joint Top in Grade

  2. Skylar Gen Johnson – Joint Top in Grade

  3. Koh Khee Png Mathew – High Distinction

  4. Yee En Ning – High Distinction

  5. Elizabeth Lang LI-Yuan – High Distinction

  6. Isaac Tay (Zheng Yiliang) – High Distinction

  7. Megan Lim Pei Xuan – High Distinction

  8. Janelle Teng Mei Xuan – High Distinction

  9. Darius Lye Ze Qi  – High Distinction

  10. Lim Sheeann  – Distinction

  11. Donald Chan Deng Tin – Distinction

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Jethro Lim Lei En


If you would like to see your child achieve excellent results in communication skills, you can consider signing up in 2017. The 2017 schedule is now available. Do call our centre at 67372700 for information.

DSA Book – As seen on Talking Point on 26 May 2016 is Out of Stock at J Carter Centre

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Dear Parents,

Thank you for your support in purchasing my book on DSA. For those of you who are keen to get a copy of my book, please purchase it directly from my publisher as my centre has run out of stock! I understand that my publisher still has copies of the book in stock. 

This is their contact information:

September 21 Enterprise Pte Ltd
No. 13 Toa Payoh Lorong 8, #04-06
Braddell Tech, Singapore 319261
TEL: 62560226
Email: info@september21.com.sg

Operating Hours
Monday to Friday: 10am to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 3pm
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

 

ENTRY INTO NUS HIGH – BY TAN TAG HAN

This is a speech written by my student Tan Tag Han. It is about his personal achievement in gaining entry into NUS High via DSA.  I am greatly humbled by this speech because it is very inspiring. The message in this speech is that dreams can come true if you work hard to achieve it. Most importantly, one needs to believe in oneself.  Tag Han was a student in my Trinity College Communication Skills Grade 5 class.

_____________________________________________________

Have you ever achieved something that you feel really proud of?

I am sure many of you have. Everybody love achievements. They are hard to accomplish but  the feeling you get when you succeed is a really sweet taste.

One year ago, I was a primary 6 student, studying hard to achieve good grades in order to get into a good secondary school.  I was under a lot of stress; the grades I was going to get could determine my future and what type of education I would receive. I had my eyes on this school, NUS High. It was love at first sight, the moment I heard about this school – I knew it was meant for me. Its name “School of Mathematics and Science” suggested that it was strong in the areas of Math and science.

The only obstacle in my way was that I didn’t believe I had the ability to pass the entry test. Students all over Singapore flock  to take the entry test every year.

I have never thought for the whole of my life that I would gain entry to such a prestigious school. It was a dream to me.  I did not even know what to do.  Then what destroyed my confidence was that I didn’t do well in the Semester Assessment 1. I achieved low marks for the subjects and had very low morale. I did not understand why? I had studied so hard yet achieved so low marks. I was very sad and did not talk much for a few days. My teacher was curious to see the drastic change in behaviour and talked to me. One of them told me a phrase I would never ever forget: ‘failure is the mother of success’.

With sound advice from my parents and teachers, I decided to put all my effort in trying my best. I read secondary school textbooks in order to prepare myself.

I signed up for the NUS High Direct School Admission or DSA test without much confidence. I did not really understand the topics in the secondary school syllabus and spent more time studying it.  I had to sacrifice time for homework to study for the test. I was really in a dilemma. Eating times became studying time and I ended up not doing my homework at all at home. I rushed through homework during other lessons in school. But for some miraculous reason, I managed to complete  my homework in time.

My parents searched the internet for ways to help me gain  confidence and learn how to succeed in DSA interviews. They chanced upon a training centre called J Carter centre for Public Speaking.

I signed up for DSA interview coaching sessions. The teacher was very friendly and my first impression was that she was very professional. She spoke with a warm smile and encouraged me to study harder.  Her name was Ms. Jackeline and she inspired me to become more of a confident speaker. After a few sessions, I knew exactly how to talk better and I thought it was really worth it attending her lessons. I went for the DSA test with a lot of confidence. I told myself, “I will not let myself down. I came here to achieve something; I’m not going to leave empty handed.”

After what seemed like years of waiting, I received the invitation to the second stage of the DSA process.

During one of my sessions with Ms. Jackeline, she taught me some motivation quotes. One advice she said was “Situation + Action = Result”. For example, if you meet with a tough situation, you have to change your reaction to it and hence change the result. Thus there was no such thing as ‘impossible’ or ‘cannot be achieved’.  This advice inspired me and I learned a lot from it. I just had to change my actions and thinking. That was what I had to do in order to achieve a wonderful result.

During all the  testing and the interviews, these words and advice went through my mind. In the end I was accepted into NUS High because Ms. Jackeline helped me to believe in myself.

Nothing is impossible! If you wish to achieve something, just do it. You don’t let your dreams stay as dreams. Some people dream of success, when they should actually wake up and try for success. If you’re tired of redoing or starting over, stop giving up and put in your very best. You just have to help yourself up. If you fail, it’s okay. Everybody fails in something, but I’m sure if you really wish to achieve something, just put in a lot of effort, you will succeed.

Luck is one thing, hard work is another, but the attitude is really what’s important. 

A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can’t go anywhere till you change it. You have to have a good attitude to achieve something. Once you change your attitude to a better one, I’m sure you will start achieving a lot of things.

Thank you for listening to my speech

Tan Tag Han, Secondary 1, NUS High School of Math and Science

Copyright J Carter Centre for Public Speaking PL, 28/12/2015. Please do not reprint this speech without permission.