Megan Bolton accepts the first place certificate for the senior group in the 4-H speech competition Sunday

Megan Bolton accepts the first place certificate for the senior group in the 4-H speech competition Sunday

4-H members use gift of gab in speech competition

Young 4-Hers had a chance to show off their speech making abilities that saw six members move forward in the challenge.

Young 4-Hers had a chance to show off their speech making abilities during a close competition that saw six members move forward in the challenge.

The Ponoka 4-H District East Zone Communications Event brought four clubs together for the public speaking competition Sunday, Feb. 21 at the Drop-in Centre with 13 speakers vying for the top two spots in the each of the junior, intermediate and senior categories.

Those four clubs were the East Ponoka Beef Club, Renegade Riders, Silver Valley Riders and Rebel Riders and the best speakers will be moving forward to the district competition set for Sunday, March 6, explained organizer Sharon Haines. The competition will be held in Ponoka with members from the whole district competing.

Competitors presented a prepared speech for judges and they were then faced with the challenge of a giving an impromptu speech that tested their ability to think on the fly. Haines enjoyed watching the kids present their speeches after researching the topics.

“I think it’s just a great gift because, I mean you’ll always use it,” said Haines.

She grew up as a 4-H member and is grateful for the skills the speech competition provided her in life. Another skill that comes from the competition is the ability to research. Members have to ensure their speeches are accurate and research is an important component of the competition.

As for the judges, there was a strong voice of support on their part as well as positive criticism for the competing 4-H members who will face stiffer competition in a few weeks. Juniors’ judge Althea Lewis praised the members but also advised them to slow down their speech as well as work to memorize what they have to say.

Intermediates’ judge Kiara Moshansky advised that practice makes perfect and to avoid using the words “uh” and “like.” “Confidence is so key, both in impromptu and in prepared.”

For the senior group, Laureen Thiessen suggested the members avoid writing their speech in full sentences and use point form to make it easier to give the speech more naturally.

Haines said she was also grateful to the judges and sponsors who helped ensure the competition could be hosted. The location of districts competition is yet to be determined.

Winners:

Junior first: Macey MacPherson, West Central Rebel Riders. Speech: Black and Yellow.

Second: Nathalie Devet, Renegade Riders. Speech: My Best Friend.

Intermediate first: Rachel Devet, Renegade Riders. Speech: Reaching for the Impossible.

Second: Mady Asante, Silver Valley Riders. Speech: Viva Mexico.

Senior first: Megan Bolron, East Ponoka Beef. Speech: Brave or Confused.

Second: Brydelle Wardley, Renegade Riders. Speech: Taking Care of Our Own.