Nezrin Hasanly is a second-year communication major at Las Positas and a former member of the Talk Hawks in the fall of 2020. The Talk Hawks is a forensic and communications team, which provides students with a learning setting in which they can practice speeches and performances, deliver them in a competitive but pleasant environment, and receive feedback from trained specialists in order to enhance their skills. She was an active part of her team and penned numerous award-winning speeches. As a member of the team, she has gained a lot of experience and improved her communication skills. Through this interview she speaks on her experience being a part of the team and who the Talk Hawks are .
Q. Who are the talk hawks?
We, the talk hawks, are a flock and family. We are bold and diverse. We’re a group that unites to promote innovation or events, whether it’s serious or entertaining. We promote our information by doing research and bringing it all together to entertain and spread awareness. We spread awareness about anything, whether it’s regarding political events or not. We bring joy to the world through entertaining speeches and making people forget about their stressful things through these speeches. We as a team continue to teach, learn and grow all of which contribute to our success.
Q.Who were they previously advisors?
The previous advisors were James Dobson and Natalie Kellner.
- Do you feel your team was successful even though you were mainly online?
Oh, absolutely. The talk Hawks are highly successful. I feel like the talk Hawks got so much more recognition last semester than ever. With Everything being online for the Talk Hawks last semester we had many more opportunities. We could participate in more events than ever because you would have to travel across states across the country before tournaments. We even participated in around 14 tournaments a semester and were able to win so many numerous awards. We really pushed to get our name out there and I’m proud of our performance and the team.
Q. What do you feel influenced the team’s success?
From last year when everything was completely online, I can say that some things that influenced our success was close communication. One or twice a week we met with our instructors and advisors. We had spreadsheets and stated what advisors we would meet with that week. Our advisors were very structured and organized. During these meetings, we would have a little check-in. I found this to be very successful because this was the time where we were, kept up on our toes, and did what we were supposed to do. We did our work during this time, presented our work, and got feedback. Getting close to all of our classmates also influenced our success.
Q. What are some challenges they have had in the past?
One significant challenge for many of my classmates and I was managing our time. With all the competitions happening every other week, it was a struggle dealing with your extracurricular activities and your classes. It was very challenging for many including myself. At certain times I found myself to be mentally exhausted and in need of support like many others. Many of us felt we needed a break, and in the end, we did get a break. So that was very good. Another challenge many of us came across was making room for our tournament setups. For our tournament we had to have pristine conditions for our room.
Q. What have they learned from these challenges?
We learned that we need to communicate with our coach better and manage our time with big projects. I’m still learning how to manage my time with my current online classes.
So, I’m still trying to get back on my feet, but I’d say it’s going better than it has in the past because of my forensics expertise.
Q. What have members of the Talk hawks done to improve and change their team?
Near the end of the semester many of my classmates started to reach out to our coaches and let them know what was going on in our lives. We wanted to make sure that they were aware of any problems we may have because it did get to a point where we were so busy with our events that the team members wouldn’t be able to keep in touch. Still, we made sure to make time for one another. We, the students, also started directing the team. While the coaches were usually teaching us, they started to make us coaching one another. This change was crucial because although it was difficult at first, giving constructive feedback to your teammates and whatnot, you became a better student learner. You also became a better peer by coaching these sessions yourself or providing feedback to teammates. Maintaining and leading these coaching sessions gave us the independence we needed for this team. We grew better as a team through teaching. So that was one thing that I appreciated coaches doing, shifting their guidance onto the members, guiding each other.
Q.With this new semester, Talk Hawks have gotten a new advisor.Who is the new advisor?
The new advisors are Tim Heisler and Natalie Kellner.
Q. How do you feel about having a new advisor? Do you have any experience with them?
She was an advisor last semester, and she’s great. She’s understanding. She has this motherly friendly figure. It’s like, you can go to her when you’re stressed or when you’re dealing with a challenging issue. She knows and understands what the team goes through because she’s been a part of the process herself; she is a former Talk Hawk. She’s just amazing overall. As for the new advisor, Tim Heisler, He is very well associated with the talk clubs. I’ve heard that Heisler is one of the top speakers in the country. They will be able to give you the experience. You need to be a part of this highly successful team
Q. What can we expect from the new talk hawk advisors, moving forward?
If the Talk Hawks’ speech night occurs this semester, I strongly encourage our campus community to attend and support it. They’ll be able to see what the team has been doing and the amazing things they have done. This event typically happens around December or January and would be hosted at LPC. Students would perform some of their favorite entertainments.I unfortunately won’t be there, since I’m no longer on the team , but I know that this future team will produce amazing things. There may also be an international competition or a statewide competition that occurs this semester.
Q. What did you learn from your experience?
I’ve learned how to be a public speaker and a better participant from the talk hawks. You truly notice the differences after you finish the talk, Hawks; you see how much you’ve learned to be a better online student.
Q. Opportunities after talk hawks?
I got to represent our college at this chamber of commerce chamber event. I also got to share some of my poetry at LPC Literary Arts festival, the poem I shared was actually one of my favorites.
Q. Any favorite speeches?
My audio narration is one of my favorite speeches. The speech was a narrative of my poetry and I presented it at an IFA experimental contest (International Forensics Association). It was one of the first occasions I shared a speech in front of a large group of people so this made me hesitant to initially participate but I stepped out of my comfort zone and participated. I came in third place in the competition and was thrilled since I had challenged and learned more about myself. Despite the fact that I had previously received first and second place medals for other speeches, this one stands out as my particular favorite. Following my participation in this event, I was motivated to read some of the poems at the LPC Literary Arts Festival last year. In the poetry slam competition, I took first place!! To this day, it still amazes me. The Talk Hawks experience prepared me for future events and opportunities.
Since we had to submit our work virtually for a preliminary round, I still have the original video I sent!
Q. Advice for incoming talk hawk members?
Future incoming students should make sure that they can communicate their needs. From the beginning, express how much workload you are going to have that semester. Your workload is going to determine how many events you’re going to participate in that semester. You should also find out what kind of events you’re interested in, because as soon as you get into one of these events, the speech that you’re going to be doing, or the topic that you choose, that’s going to stick with you the entire semester. You also won’t be changing your speeches constantly; you’re working on three or more events that you’re performing.
So definitely choose a topic you’re interested.I also advise new members to connect with teammates. I know it can feel uncomfortable reaching out to your teammates, but I urge you to try because, in the end, you’re going to regret that you didn’t. Think about all of the great things that can happen if you push yourself out there and make the connections. So push yourself to get closer with your teammates, especially when they’re having the zoom meeting.
Iyore Iyamu is a writer for The Express. Follow Her @IyamuMiyore