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What is the Voice Public Speaking Competition?

Welcome to UN Youth’s Voice, the largest public speaking competition in Western Australia!

This annual program is an exciting opportunity for students in Years 7 to 10 to broaden their knowledge of national and international affairs, while developing their presentation and public speaking skills in a unique forum. The competition is a fantastic opportunity to improve research and communication skills, as well as to meet and form friendships with other students from across WA. It’s a chance like no other for you to engage with and find your role in the world around you.

You’ll choose an issue that’s important to you from a list of provided topics, and develop a creative and viable solution. Through the presentation of a prepared speech and answering impromptu questions, you will persuade, entertain, and inspire your audience. The Voice Competition is an opportunity to have your voice heard on key issues that are shaping the future of our society. We encourage innovation, sustainability, and originality of solutions!


Run in collaboration with the WA Government Department of Communities

The WA Government wants to listen to your ideas and experiences as young people. Participating in UN Youth WA’s Voice Competition will inform government policies through the Youth Action Plan. Use your voice to shape the future of WA!

Department of Communities


How does the competition work?

Voice WA consists of two divisions: Juniors (Years 7 – 8) and Seniors (Years 9 – 10).

Public Speaking Workshop

The first component of the competition is a Public Speaking Workshop, where you will learn valuable public speaking skills and tips on preparing your presentations. You will be briefed on how to construct your solutions and defend their validity. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the competition and how to prepare, working alongside UN Youth facilitators.

(Attendance is optional. A recording will be made available to participants after the event)

PrELIMINARY ROUNDS

You will attend a Presentation Event where you will deliver a speech, outlining a solution to a global problem that you have selected from a list of topics. After each participant has spoken, you will answer two impromptu questions related to your solution from our panel of judges.

Participants need only attend their designated session and should wear their school uniform.

State Finals

The top-ranking competitors from each division will be invited to participate in the Semi-Final, and could progress to the WA State Final. Finalists will deliver a new speech addressing a new global problem at each of these rounds.

National Finals

The top delegates from WA will be invited to participate in the Voice National Finals, where they will represent their school and the state of WA.


Why should I sign up?

You will learn heightened skills in communication and the ability to convey your opinions convincingly and emotively. You will not simply compete – you will develop valuable skills that will help you both in school and within the wider community.

Voice allows you to gain:

  • Critical reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Independent formulation of ideas
  • Research and information-gathering skills
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Confidence and personal presentation skills
  • Knowledge of current events and issues
  • A chance to meet like-minded and engaged young people

How do the speeches work?

The competition is split into two parts: the Pitch & Question Time.

The Pitch
  • Juniors (Years 7 – 8): 4-minute prepared speech
  • Seniors (Years 9 – 10): 5-minute prepared speech

Participants are to outline their solution for the provided topic in as much detail as they deem necessary. Judges will not interact with the participants during their Pitch.

Participants may use palm cards or written notes during their speech. 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).

Question Time
  • All participants: 2-minute response

Participants will be asked two questions posed by the panel of judges. Questions will only be directed towards the proposed solution, but may include aspects the participant has not touched upon. This means it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the chosen topic.

Participants may ask for clarification regarding a question, but 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.


What are the judging criteria?

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.

Matter
  • Knowledge and analysis of the situation
  • A sophisticated level of research into the proposed solution
  • Identification of potential obstacles to the solution’s success
  • The feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed solution
  • The originality of the proposed solution
Manner
  • The appropriate use of clarity, speed, and tone of voice
  • The appropriate use of gestures and expression
  • The non-intrusive use of notes or palm cards
  • The employment of persuasive techniques
Method
  • A logical and easy-to-understand organisation of ideas
  • A smooth flow of ideas from one to another with no significant breaks in structure
  • The use of Plain English with minimal jargon

 

In addition to the above criteria, participants’ responses to questions will be reviewed against the following guidelines:

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

How are the speeches structured?

Juniors (Years 7 – 8)

1. All participants will present a four-minute pitch in response to the problem presented;

a) One bell will sound at three minutes, two bells at four minutes,

b) Speeches should be between three and four minutes, certainly no longer than four minutes and fifteen seconds.

2. After all pitches have finished, the judges will have ten minutes to deliberate. Participants will then be called up one by one in speaking order to answer questions on their speech;

3. Participants will be asked two easy to moderately difficult questions, and will be given up to one minute to consider their response to both questions;

4. Participants will have one minute to respond to both questions;

a) One bell will sound at thirty seconds, two bells at one minute,

b) The time taken to respond to both questions should not exceed two minutes and fifteen seconds.

Seniors (Years 9 – 10)

1. All participants will present a five-minute pitch in response to the problem presented;

a) One bell will sound at four minutes, two bells at five minutes,

b) Speeches should be between four and five minutes, certainly no longer than five minutes and fifteen seconds.

2. After all pitches have finished, the judges will have ten minutes to deliberate. Participants will then be called up one by one in speaking order to answer questions on their speech;

3. Participants will be asked two moderately difficult to difficult questions, and will be given up to one minute to consider their responses to both questions;

4. Participants will have two minutes to respond to both questions;

a) One bell will sound at one minute, two bells at two minutes,

b) The time taken to respond to both questions should not exceed two minutes and fifteen seconds.

 

REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN FOR 2023:

SIGN UP NOW!


Event Details

WHO:

WA Students in Years 7 – 10


DATES:

WORKSHOP: (Attendance is optional. A recording will be made available to participants after the event)

  • Sunday, 17 Sept 2023

PRELIMINARY ROUND OPTIONS:

  • Thursday, 12 October 2023
    (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
    Ellenbrook SHS
  • Sunday, 15 October 2023
    (1 PM – 4 PM)
    Aquinas College
  • Monday, 16 October 2023
    (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
    St Hilda’s Anglican School
  • Tuesday, 17 October 2023
    (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
    St Stephen’s School
  • Wednesday, 18 October 2023
    (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
    Shenton College
  • Friday, 20 October 2023
    (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
    Perth Modern School
  • Saturday, 21 October 2023
    (9:30 AM – 12:30 PM)
    Lake Joondalup Baptist College

SEMI-FINAL:

  • Sunday, 12 Nov 2023

WA GRAND FINAL:

  • Sunday, 19 Nov 2023

NATIONAL FINAL:

  • TBC

COST:

  • $30 (Perth Metropolitan Area)
  • $20 (Regional; outside the Perth Metropolitan Area)

Please note: Full scholarships are available! (Scholarship applications close 16 Oct 2023)


Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact:

Finn Lip

WA Voice Competition Convenor 2023

Email: finn.lip@unyouth.org.au


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