Voice is a unique public speaking competition inviting students to pitch innovative solutions to some of the most complex social issues facing local communities, Australia and the world.

ACT’s 2024 Voice competition is open to Juniors (Grade 8 & 9) and Seniors (Grades 10 & 11)

Juniors will deliver a pitch responding to a chosen topic in a speech up to 4 minutes

Seniors will deliver pitch responding to a chosen topic in a speech up to 5 minutes

Following speeches, Judges will ask students to elaborate on their pitch in impromptu questions to gain a greater understanding of the pitch.

Preliminary rounds will take place online, from which finalists will be invited to the Territory final to be held at the Australian National University in early March. From here, students will be selected to represent the ACT at the 2024 Voice National Finals and compete against students from across the country.

This year’s preliminary topics are:
  1. How can the international community better protect the rights of animals?
  2. How should Australia balance its need to protect its own national security with its desire to promote international peace?
  3. How can we improve transportation systems to service and support regional and rural Australia?
  4. How can we ensure that all Australians have access to affordable housing?
  5. How can access and inclusion be strengthened and supported in the sporting industry?
  6. How can we ensure that Australian students learn about history that reflects the values of contemporary Australian society?
Register here: https://unyouth.wufoo.com/forms/act-2024-voice-competition-registration-form/ 

Interested, but want to know more?
For any questions email our 2024 Voice Convenor: Luke Lourey via actpres@unyouth.org.au

The Format

The competition is split into two parts — the Pitch and Question Time.

The Pitch:
Juniors (Years 8-9): 4-minute prepared speech

Seniors (Years 10-11): 5-minute prepared speech

Participants are to outline their solution for the provided topic in as much detail as they deem necessary. Their responses will be assessed in accordance with the criteria outlined below. Participants may not use supportive materials to assist in their Pitch. This includes, but is not limited to, maps, charts, graphs, timelines, or presentations of any form.

Judges will not interact with the participants during their Pitch.

Question Time:
All participants: 2-minute response

Participants are to answer two questions posed by the judging panel in regard to their solutions. Their responses will be assessed in regard to both the general criteria, as well as the additional criteria below.

Judges may ask any and all questions pertaining to the substance of the proposal as outlined in the sub-sections of the Matter judging criteria. Questions will only be directed towards the proposed solution, but may include aspects the participant has not touched upon.

Participants may ask for clarification regarding a question, however may not enquire as to the validity, completeness, or relevance of their responses.

Participants may choose not to answer a question; however this is not viewed favourably. Brevity and concise responses are viewed favourably. Responses to questions will also be reviewed in regards to the following criteria:

– Comprehensiveness of the response to the question
– Addition of new information
– Evidence of a strong level of research/knowledge
– Justification of response
– Succinctness and brevity of response

Both the Pitch and Question Time are taken into account for the judging process. The three core areas that are judged in a participant’s speech in both The Pitch and Question Time are, in order of importance: Matter, Manner, and Method.