ACC Intermediate Debating and Public Speaking Competition

As part of our annual Years 9 and 10 ACC Intermediate Debating and Public Speaking competitions, myself and other students had the honour of representing Salesian College at Mazenod. Here the best young speakers from each College were pitted against each other. Salesian College faced nine other schools, including Parade, Mazenod, St Bernard’s, St Joseph’s and St Bede’s.

It is very interesting to note that in a recent survey more than a quarter of respondents listed public speaking above a shark attack, snake bite or lightning strike as THE number one fear. Side effects can include nausea, increased heart rate, sweaty palms, dry throat and an intense desire to run away and hide

Taking part in these public speaking competitions allows the participants to develop some important & lifelong skills. Some of those skills include learning to connect with and engage an audience, dealing with nerves and the ability to think & respond quickly.

The competition is comprised of two sections, the first is a series of prepared speeches, and the second section involves improvised speeches. Some of our prepared speeches featured the dangers of our parole board, why we should endorse rehabilitation over retributive justice and how video games are teaching children to gamble through in app purchases. In these speeches we explored various real life issues and identified the key factors of the issue and addressed why these issues are serious. This allowed us to contemplate what can be done to manage our chosen issue.

The improvised speeches included a provided prompt where students had limited time to devise their piece. One of the prompts was “What is the most important lesson you have ever learnt?” Salesian boys did an excellent job at presenting the advised speeches. Each student had their own unique viewpoint of the prompt and presented a convincing argument. 

– Connor Hodinj
Year 10