VCAA: Plain English Speaking Award

On 2 June, Senior students, Amber Chapman (Year 12) and Demi Markakis (Year 11) took part in the VCAA: Plain English Speaking Award. Both students are seasoned public speakers, and although they did not place in the Final, they received positive and encouraging feedback from the judges on their prepared speeches.

Both students have recently participated in other competitions; Amber had recently performed in the Final of the Rotary: Ainger Public Speaking Award and, despite not placing, found that the competition “was of a very high standard and a great experience overall.” Demi had recently taken part in the Rostrum: Voice of Youth competition, and was a Finalist in 2016. Both students are currently mentoring Year 7 and 8 students in Public Speaking, helping them to hone both their style and content, and enriching our program overall with their personal expertise.

As with many of the Public Speaking competitions, students are also asked to perform an impromptu speech, which assumes knowledge of current social and political issues. This serves as a timely reminder to all students who wish to participate in both Public Speaking and Debating that a broad general knowledge is an advantage, particularly when needing to address an audience ‘off the cuff’. Judges also encourage students to try to memorise their first paragraphs to engage with their audience immediately.

Staff also contribute considerable time and expertise in coaching students for Public Speaking events, and we would like to thank Mrs Kim Waters for her training of the students. This competition represents the last competition on the Public Speaking calendar for Year 11 and 12 students prior to the House Public Speaking competition.

Ms Mary-Anne Keratiotis, Head of Debating