Giving a speech can instil all kinds of fear for most people. In fact, public speaking is considered to be one of the most common phobias, affecting three out of four people.
Considering statistics such as these, the expertise and dedication of our students willing to compete in class, house and school speech competitions have been impressive.
For the Rotary Speech Competition, six students were selected for the preliminary round from Year 7 and 8 including Jonty R5, Olivia R18, Alfie R1, Lucy R7, Issi R15 & Sonya R15. We were delighted that Alfie, Olivia and Sonya were progressed through to the Rotary finals to compete against some of our local schools.
Many parents and supporters from our local community attended this very entertaining evening. All our competitors presented with confidence and charisma receiving highly commended awards. Congratulations to the competition winners from the other schools.
When asked about this experience Olivia shared, ‘When you enter a speech competition, you have no idea what’s coming. Are you scared? Nervous? Or plain excited? Well, to be honest, I was blank. I felt nothing but the warm air circulating around the auditorium. The fuzz of conversation filled my ears until it was the beginning. The beginning of the end…’ Reading this you’d think her speech was a disaster BUT let me tell you, her speech entitled ‘Why llamas are the animal of the future?’ engaged the audience with its offbeat and creative content and humorous delivery.
Further to this competition, Sonya and Alfie represented Heaton at the Canterbury Intermediate Schools Speech Competition speaking to the theme of ‘The Time is Now!’. The level of competition here was very high but Alfie grabbed the audience’s attention with a clever rendition of New Zealand comedy, displaying his very clear talent for comedic delivery. The audience was certainly entertained! A potential comedian in our midst?
Sonya followed with her speech about why you should get involved in school productions delivering, in my opinion, her best performance and winning the competition. To follow, Sonya shares her experience.
‘I have always enjoyed speeches. They build your confidence and they are fun if you believe in what your topic is about. This year I was determined to get into the Rotary finals. I had a speech I believed in and my dad and I made a bet that I would get a dog if I went through. I was so proud when I got into the finals for Rotary. I was going to get a dog! Now all I had to do was win the competition and life would be perfect.
When going up on the stage my heart was beating. I couldn’t do this! I quickly got the speech over and done. Sadly, I didn’t win, but there would be another opportunity just around the corner. When Ms Cumming asked if I could compete in the Canterbury Intermediate Schools speech competition, I was overwhelmed. There might be another chance I might win!
When it was my turn to present, all I could think of was making my speech slow, this was one of the most important things I had to work on. When they called all the students up to say who had won, I could hear my voice. They called up the people who came 2nd and 3rd. My name wasn’t up there. My head was bowing down, begging for me to win… SONYA! They called my name. I had won!! I was so happy. People have asked if I was nervous. But no, I had done so many competitions that this one felt as if I was rehearsing it. I believe that speeches are a great thing to do. And hey, can I get that dog now?
By Sarah Cumming