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 questions from judges during discussion time, 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!

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)


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, there will be two minutes of moderated discussion time with the judges to further flesh out your idea.

Participants need only attend their designated session and school uniforms are optional.

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 & Discussion 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).

  • All participants: 2-minute discussion with judges

Immediately after the pitch, you and the judges will have two minutes of discussion time where the judges will ask you questions to further flesh out your idea. Think of this like how the TV show Shark Tank works – although much less intense!

What happened to Question Time?

If you’ve done Voice before, you will know that in the past we’ve done Question Time – where seperate to the pitch you’ll be asked two questions and given two minutes to answer them. This year, we’re trying the slightly different format of Discussion Time, which will allow for more free-flowing discussion between judges and delegates.

What are the judging criteria?

Both the Pitch and Discussion 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 Discussion Time are, in order of importance: Matter, Manner, and Method.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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



Event Details


WA Students in Years 7 – 10


All rounds will be hybrid rounds with call-in options available for regional delegates and those with accessibility requirements. In-person attendance is preferred for students who are in metro areas.

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

  • Saturday May 18 2024


  • Friday May 24 2024, Afternoon (Venue TBC – Perth)
  • Wednesday May 29 2024, Afternoon (Venue TBC – Perth)
  • Thursday June 6 2024, Afternoon (Venue TBC – Perth)
  • Saturday June 8, Daytime – Victoria Park Community Space


  • Saturday June 15 2024


  • Sunday June 23 2024


  • TBC


  • $30

Please note: Full scholarships are available via the registration form. Please apply if you require one!

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact:

Isabella Reis-Lodge

WA Voice Competition Convenor 2024

Email: isabella.reislodge@unyouth.org.au


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