SF Talks

SF Talks

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The SF Talks Official Blog

Read about behind-the-scenes action from our meetings, workshops, and planning sessions!

Why SF Talks Is for YOU!

by Amanda Smith, an SF Talks Speaker from 2018
June 1, 2018

  1. A curious, interested audience (both physically present and on YouTube) wants to hear your voice and will love what you do on stage
  2. It’ll make you a better, more comfortable, and more natural public speaker
  3. You have a story to tell or an extraordinary idea to share — here’s your platform
  4. You’ll get to organize your thoughts and feelings about a issue important to you which may lead to new insights for you and your audience
  5. It’s fun!
  6. An amazing way to bring together the diverse ideas and personalities we have on our Saint Francis campus
  7. A good reason to dress up just a little bit fancy ;)
  8. It stimulates important conversations that lead to real change in our communities
  9. It may shift your perspective or broaden your worldview
  10. You’ll meet, work with, and be surrounded by other caring, thoughtful, and inspiring individuals

Whether you are considering speaking at the event or attending it, SF Talks is an event you shouldn’t miss. If the reasons above are not enough, please watch talks from last year that may empower you to share your voice or support others.

Wrapping Up 2017-2018

by Aishani Aatresh
June 1, 2018

2018 Event Group Picture

And that’s a wrap on the first year of SF Talks! We had an absolutely phenomenal inaugural run and can’t wait for next year. As we speak, we are assembling our board for next school year. We were so honored to have around 200 people attend the event and to see all the buzz that has surrounded it ever since (whether the five mentions of it at graduation, the article in the newspaper, or simply everything we’ve heard from our classmates!). We hope to do an even bigger and better job next year and to continue empowering teens to share their stories. Mark your calendar for the second SF Talks on March 2, 2019, and check out all the talks which are now live on the Saint Francis YouTube channel. Until next time!

Workshop 3 and the Home Stretch

by Aishani Aatresh
April 1, 2018

Just under 3 weeks until the event! We just had our final speaker workshop with special guest Kristin Link, a Saint Francis parent who founded the public speaking company Link Coaching and generously has given us her time to assist with honing everyone’s talks and polishing the entire event! Although we didn’t have time for our usual improv games, there was plenty of food and fun as each person delivered his or her talk “officially” for the first time and received feedback from peers and Mrs. Link and then worked with the board to revise content and make further improvements.

As soon as we return from this much needed spring break, we’ll dive straight in to tech week, where we will run the entire program in the Performing Arts Center with all the lights, sound, and other theater aspects! There’ll be a couple late nights as we work on stage and put finishing touches on the event, and we can’t wait to share our hard work and ideas with you soon.

P.S. Tickets are officially live -- visit our homepage to purchase them and spread the word!

Workshop 2

by Aishani Aatresh
March 3, 2018

The year’s moving ahead fast! We’re done with workshop 2 of 3, and we now have fourteen fledgling talks and budding speakers. At our workshop yesterday, we were joined by a special guest -- Lynn Kirkham of Yes, You Can Speak. Lynn graciously offered to help us at our workshop after hearing about SF Talks through a Saint Francis parent, and she brought incredible expertise from her fascinating personal experiences, especially as the official coach for TEDxBerkeley. She focused on helping our speakers connect with the audience and tap into their talents as performers to gain confidence. Complete with plenty of food and laughs, everyone had a great time and definitely grew a lot. Here are a couple pictures -- a special one of all our speakers and the board with Lynn and the words of affirmation she wrote (with contributions from everyone) for all the speakers after they delivered a portion of their talks!

Stay posted for the next update, coming soon!

Officially Kicking Off SF Talks

by Aishani Aatresh
January 13, 2018

Happy New Year! SF Talks is officially up and running with fourteen speakers, freshmen to seniors, addressing topics ranging from dance, to dark matter, civic activism, and animal rights. It’s definitely an eclectic array of topics by people from all sorts of backgrounds, but we’re very excited to see how everything ties together.

We have our first of three speaker workshops on campus planned for January 28th, where we’ll dive straight in to the process of writing these talks, getting comfortable performing, and creating a community among our speakers and board.

Speaker Applications!

by Aishani Aatresh
November 1, 2017

It’s been a busy few months! We had a great turnout at both the freshman and school-wide activity fairs, and after an initial club meeting, it looks like we are on the path for a great event.

Right now, we’re slowly starting to review the speaker applications that are being submitted. We released our application a little while ago and are asking prospective speakers to answer a couple short written questions and submit a brief video where they talk about their idea and why it matters (to them and to the world). Although the idea was to accept speakers from any high school around the Bay Area, we’ve just had Saint Francis students thus far and it looks like it’ll stay that way. There’s definitely been a lot of good ideas coming our way in these speaker applications. What we’re looking for in particular is a strong, cohesive, passionate, and unique idea from each applicant that reflects how active our student body is. Not only will we be considering each person individually from a content and speaking perspective, but we also will be consciously trying to assemble a diverse, representative group of about fifteen speakers for the event. Our board (with a few additions since the summer) has enjoyed talking about the various applications we’ve received so far and are ready for the upcoming influx of more.

Looking forward!

Summer Update

by Aishani Aatresh
August 13, 2017

We have been hard at work all summer laying the foundation for SF Talks!

It all started in March 2017, when Arrian, Nicole, and I (along with two graduated seniors, Anjana and Tiffany) gave TEDx talks at Sacred Heart Cathedral's TEDx@SHC event. All of us were so inspired by the opportunity we had and wanted to bring such an event to our school but with a special, St. Francis twist. That's how SF Talks began!

Over the summer, we have come long way from the little idea we had. We began assembling our board, inviting Chelsea and Arianne in early July. It took almost 2 months, but we finally decided a name and a motto! We've been working closely with the administration to choose the date and venue and to ensure this event will reflect how vibrant and unique Saint Francis is. Slowly, our budget, website, and schedule is coming together, and we are in the home stretch of our summer work with just a week before school starts. We're additionally figuring out how to incorporate various clubs and groups on and off campus into SF Talks. The freshman activity fair is on August 31st, and preparing for it is our main focus for the next few days.

As soon as we have freshmen signed up to be involved with SF Talks, we will begin our long haul of meetings and workshops to officially kick off the event and the club that will facilitate it all. We can't wait to start working with the entire school and to build upon the groundwork we have painstakingly laid over the past few months!

See you soon!