Speakers take to stage

The top-placed speech finalists. Back row, Year 8: Noa Rachmani (1st), Bastiaan Banks (3rd), Minnie Glover (2nd). Front: Front row, Year 7: Evie Ismay (3rd equal), Holly Robinson (2nd), Keeley Thomas (1st), Isla Te Weehi (3rd equal).

Cambridge Middle School’s top speakers took to the stage last week for the school’s annual speech finals, where teachers’ top-picks across Year 7 and 8 contested for the top titles in front of their peers.

Students gathered in the hall on Thursday last week for the Year 7 finals, judged by Principal Ross Tyson, and later the year 8 finals – judged by yours truly, along with teacher and experienced speechmaker Taryn Power.

I can quite honestly say, as the judges we were simply blown away by the quality of speaking, writing and delivery from these budding public speakers. All of them deserved immense credit, for not only getting up in front of so many people, but leaving their nerves at the stage side and delivering a fantastically confident performance.

Bastian Banks, with his speech on “the great Kiwi road trip”, could very well become a comedian, demonstrating excellent wit and humour with instant audience engagement. He placed in a close third-place, though could have easily taken first.

In second was Minnie Glover, with her speech on reality TV and its wider context in life – both funny, meaningful and rather thought-provoking, with a great stage presence.

Noa Rachmani was placed first for her excellent speech about lying. She ultimately took the win for not only being humorous and confident, but also for having a very well-written speech and utilising space and body language effectively.

It was two thumbs up to all the finalists we had the pleasure of listening to. Ultimately, we had to pick a top 3, but we felt it was an excellent performance from everyone who had the guts to get up on stage. Well done!

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