Kingston High Students Hannah and Ruby Eddleston recently participated in a national public speaking competition.
The Rostrum Voice of Youth is a national competition for secondary school students from Years 7 to 12, which has been running for 47 years.
Rostrum Australia is a national association of public speaking groups, first established in 1930.
My sister Ruby and I competed in the Southern Regional Final this year.
We were in the Senior Division, for students in Years 10-12.
We were given a choice of 5 topics to prepare an 8-minute speech on.
The topics were An Error of Judgement, Connection to Country, Spoilt for Choice, A Lesson That I Learned, and Changing the Narrative.
I chose to speak on the topic Changing the Narrative, with a speech about how Jane Austen changed the narrative about men and women of her time through her novels, and Ruby spoke on the topic Spoilt for Choice with a speech about decision paralysis.
In our division of the Southern Regional Final there were nine competitors, split between two rooms.
Competitors were from The Friends’ School, Elizabeth College, Kingston High School, MacKillop College, St Michael’s Collegiate, and Hobart College.
Ruby said, “This year I was a lot more prepared, I knew my speech by heart.
“I presented a speech in a way that the audience could enjoy and relate to.”
Another component of the competition is a short notice or impromptu speech. Competitors are given three topics, and 15-minutes to prepare a 3-minute speech on the topic of their choice.
I always find short notice terrifying.
It is easy to reinforce the same point, without presenting different arguments to support your overall opinion.
Each room has a panel of three adjudicators who judge each speech and present the overall winner, and the encouragement award.
Ruby and I were in different rooms and were very proud to both receive the encouragement award.
“I was happy that I’d made an improvement on last year,” remarked Ruby.
The Rostrum Voice of Youth competition is a great way to improve confidence and hear great speeches from your peers.
I would like to thank all involved.
I’m ready and excited for next year’s competition!
By Hannah Eddleston