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Youth Speaks Competition 2016

An account of the annual Youth Speaks competition from Y10's Jemima.

The Stratford and Shipston Rotary Clubs hold an annual public speaking competition – Rotary Youth Speaks. In late February this year, we attended the first regional round of the 2016 event. It was held in the hall of the Croft Preparatory School, just outside Stratford. I was the first to arrive from our school, and therefore had some time to look around before the others came.  I was surprised at the size of the room, which seemed more like an actual theatre than a school hall!

The evening started with the intermediate competition for years 7-9, and all of the speeches were very interesting. Then, after a short break came the senior competition that we participated in,along with other year 10-13 teams from around the county. My team had to present first, which was very daunting!  Our topic was “sweating the small stuff” – discussing how we all worry over small things in life, and how we can stop doing this.  We had three speakers on the team, Amynta (the chairperson) who spoke for 2 minutes, Livi (the lead speaker) who spoke for 6, and me (the vote of thanks), who spoke again for two minutes. The other team from our school, consisting of Bella, Gina, and Jess, taught us how to present the perfect speech, which was both informative, and very funny!

I felt that our presentation went extremely well.  We all engaged our audience successfully, and none of us went wrong.  Also, the audience laughed at our jokes – success!  Our school’s other team also spoke clearly and confidently. The other teams spoke well too, though, and sadly this time, we didn’t win.   We did, however, receive plenty of incredibly positive feedback which was enormously helpful.  Hopefully we can compete again next year!  Our thanks go to Mr. Cooper for helping us prepare for the event and supporting us on the night.