Four Dannevirke High School Year 12 students delivered excellent speeches to a good turnout of around 40 Lions last week as part of the annual Young Speechmaker Contest.
They were all hoping to emulate 2017 Dannevirke High School head girl Lauren Carr who won the local contest before winning the district final then taking out the national competition, earning her a six-week trip to Canada and the US in early 2018.
The challenge was to present a prepared six-minute speech on any topic and then respond to an impromptu speech challenge of two minutes.
It was a fascinating, entertaining and educational evening as each delivered their prepared speeches. The topics were the primary teacher crisis, euthanasia, global environmental destruction and abortion.
The students have been trained to present well with limited use of notes, the arguments being well backed with facts and opinions and rebuttal of the counter argument.
For the impromptu speech each candidate was given one minute to prepare the topic and then two minutes to deliver. Many candidates fall at this hurdle but some instruction in technique was evident.
The topic, "So you've won Lotto, why are you not giving any of it away?" gave the candidates plenty of opportunity to plan and speak about their dreams. One wanted to visit Paris with friends, another wanted to tour the world playing sport and visiting tourist spots, another wanted to create a non-profit organisation to help the world's homeless and another wanted to finance her career and future accommodation.
Stephanie Walker was placed first, Chantelle Monteith was second but in the end Lions' judges were happy to have all four go to the regional final being held at Knox Church Hall in Dannevirke on Saturday.
There they will compete with the best from the region which stretches along the East Coast from Gisborne to Wellington.
The public is welcome to attend this for free event which starts at 9am.