Boys’ School Senior Speech Finals

June 20, 2018 at 9:32 AM

In a week when the senior boys are preparing to stage their production of the musical, Treasure Island, ten of the best speakers in Years 7 and 8 stepped up to present their speeches in the final round of the Senior School Speech competition – a number of them also having lead roles in the musical. 

To understand the calibre of this small group of ten finalists, yesterday the hall was packed row on row with the many other senior boys who have also given speeches over the past few weeks. The chosen ten, three from Year 7 and seven from Year 8, had risen through the ranks to gain final selection. 

This year we had the privilege of welcoming Mr Rawdon Christie to adjudicate. Mr Christie is an award-winning broadcaster with twenty years' experience in communication and media and was faced with the difficult task of selecting the winners. 

From ‘How to be a world leader’ to ‘Why video gaming is good for you’ and ‘The act of making good decisions;’ every one of the finalists was a strong contender with excellent speech making skills, consequently, judging was not easy! However, having given close consideration to speech construction, delivery and presentation, content and engagement, use of language and the overall impact, Mr Christie made his final decision. 

In summing up, he told the boys that the ability to speak clearly and with confidence to get a point across, will hold them in good stead for the future. He said that in selecting the winners, he chose those who spoke deeply from the heart, giving passionate speeches that connected with the audience and left them with a strong message. 

The top spot was given to Kyan McKeown-Green who spoke with great feeling about his young brother Luca, who has struggled daily since the day he was born with a heart defect. Now three years old, his determination has been a source of inspiration for Kyan. He said, ‘Luca has taught me understanding and empathy. Understanding that you can’t always see the struggles that people have or are going through… The world would be a much better place if people took the time to be more kind. More patient. More understanding.’ 

Second place went to Austin Alcock for his speech on ‘Grit.’ Mr Rawdon commented that Austin has all the makings of a motivational speaker having delivered his message to ‘stick with it’ in a most engaging way! 

Mr Rawdon said he had struggled to choose between the top three contenders and so created his own ‘Highly Commended’ category for Jamie Mora who also spoke about his brother, Ryan. Ryan has Downs Syndrome but despite some of his challenges, Jamie said, ‘Ryan is an unusually powerful source of happiness.’ Jamie’s pride and love were clear to see and he too, left us with a better understanding of the syndrome and the struggles some families face. 

Well done to all those who presented their speeches and to MCs for the afternoon, Baxter Hilson and Henry McPherson, and musicians, Marco Lazarro and Sunny Lee. 

Our sincere thanks to Mr Christie for the time spent with our boys and especially the valuable feedback. 

1st           Kyan McKeown-Green    8HK        Inspirational People
2nd          Austin Alcock                    8CC        Grit 
HC          Jamie Mora                       8HB        My Brother Ryan 

Fellow Finalists:
Fionn Steele Smith           8HB        How to be a World Leader
Zac Nathan                        7MF       Why Video Gaming is Good for You
Josh King                            8CC        Steps to Success
Sam McLeod                     7TM       Pressure
William Ormond               7DT        The Act of Making Good Decisions
Austin McKegg                 8HK        Negative Stereotyping
Robson Reid                      8PJ         The Evolution of Film                             

Musical Interludes:
Marco Lazarro on Saxophone
Sunny Lee on Piano 

Mr Christie is an award-winning broadcaster with twenty years' experience in communication and media. His career started with the BBC but he's best-known for his five years presenting Television New Zealand's Breakfast show, where he interviewed hundreds of guests, from senior politicians and business leaders to Oscar winners and Olympic champions. Rawdon's career highlight came before that as a news presenter when he anchored TVNZ's rolling coverage of both major Christchurch earthquakes in front of an audience of millions. He has also presented reality show Dragon's Den, politics show Agenda and several other News and Current Affairs programmes for TVNZ and the BBC. Rawdon has now transferred his communication skills to helping organisations build stronger internal and external relationships.

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