Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award

issue1215-legacy-verticalYear 9 students, Lina Cho and Jessica Wang recently represented PLC Sydney in the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Regional final. They delivered two speeches, competing against an accomplished field of highly-skilled orators. Lina received a high commendation from the adjudicator for her Prepared Speech concerning the glorification of war entitled ‘The Honour and the Glory’. Jessica challenged our notions of racism, in the light of recent local and international media revelations in ‘Colour Blind’. In the following article, they reflect upon their experiences at the event:

It’s not every day that young people are given the opportunity to stand up and talk to the world about a topic for which they are have a burning passion. Although it wasn’t in front of the world (exactly), on Thursday 6 August, we were fortunate enough to be given this opportunity at the regional semi-final round of the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award, hosted at Kincoppal School.

Initially, we were so nervous that we could feel our legs physically shaking, but Kincoppal’s breathtaking view provided ample distraction (as well as a great photo opportunity!) The competition started with the Prepared Speeches and we were blown away by the standard and the courage of many competitors addressing relevant and controversial issues.

After a short morning tea (during which we consumed healthy amounts of delicious cake and sandwiches), the competition recommenced. The Impromptu Section, consisted of five minutes preparation for a two minute speech on an unseen topic. Five minutes is very long when you’re outside the prep room surrounded by sunlight and friendly conversation, but it’s incredibly short when you’re presented with a phrase and expected to write a speech on it!  With the topic ‘All the world’s a stage’, (thank you, William), many competitors managed to impress us once again.

At the end of the day, whilst neither of us made it to the next round, we had an amazing, enriching experience, which has definitely taught us a lot and enhanced our skills as public speakers.

We’d like to thank a couple of people for this marvellous adventure. First would undoubtedly be the lovely Mrs Hawkey, who was literally with us every step of the way (starting with the fact that she graciously drove us to Kincoppal and back). In addition to being an excellent mentor and source of support, Mrs Hawkey has also proved herself as an able photographer, a stress management expert, and quite the social butterfly amongst the public speaking community. In addition, we’d like to extend our thanks to Ms Konstantopoulos, who sacrificed her precious Period 6 time to hear and improve our speeches, which made them that much more meaningful.

Our Public Speaking preparation and training with Mrs Hawkey included a virtual excursion to Dubbo – as digital participants in the first ever speaking event hosted by The Arts Unit. As spectators, we were fortunate to be able to assess and observe other speakers and pick up tips and tricks along the way. Thanks to our obliging IT gurus at PLC Sydney, who secured the data connection for us.

And finally, a shout out to the beautiful Ms Bennetts, who sent her love and well wishes and, to quote Mrs Hawkey, was "with us in spirit".

Lina Cho and Jessica Wang

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