It has been a hectic but very focused start to the year for our public speakers with two major competitions this term. More than 20 students have been drafting, refining and performing speeches to audiences of parents, teachers and fellow competitors from schools across Sydney and New South Wales.
These competitions give young people the chance to speak their truths, and to encourage their audiences to think and act, from their perspectives on a theme chosen from several possible topics.
In the Catholic Schools’ Debating Association Public Speaking Competition topics included: ‘When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars’; ‘Get up, stand up! Don’t give up the fight’; and ‘Do not pass go. Do not collect $200’. Rosie in Year 7, along with Dom and Coco, both from Year 12, made it through to the Zone Finals this year. Genevieve in Year 8 achieved a place in the Grand Final, held at St. Scholastica’s College in Glebe. She had the audience completely engaged with her take on sculpture and how we have the power to shape our own lives through our choices and experiences. This is how she started her speech:
“Imagine it’s 50 years in the future, and someone asks to mould your life into a sculpture…think about what materials you’d use, the patterns and shapes, even ribbons … think about what you want your sculpture to represent, to show, to leave behind in our world.”
Her thoughtful and sophisticated words were awarded 2nd place. This was an outstanding result for both Genevieve and our school. Congratulations!
Meanwhile, the Rostrum Voice of Youth Competition is getting underway too. This event is run by retired public speakers who want oratory skills to flourish among the younger generation. Six students from Years 7, 8, 10 and 11 are competing, with Regional Finals awaiting those who are placed first in Round 1. State and National finals are also held. Our students’ topics include: ‘Opportunity knocks’; ‘Behind the Lens’; ‘Shifting Gears’; and ‘Lost in Translation’. The girls have been practising their speeches in coaching sessions and in front of each other, to boost their confidence and oral skills ahead of their competition performances.
Public Speaking Convenor