Boys' School Speech Competition

June 15, 2016 at 3:59 PM

‘Every day, we are being deceived by devices of illusion. I find it ironic how these ‘touch screens’ actually make us lose touch with each other, and even though we may be connected to wi-fi, we are losing connection with the ones we care about.  This is making us more separate and selfish than ever.  I imagine a world in which we smile when we have low batteries because that means we are one bar closer to humanity. No offence Mr Zuckerberg, but this social media you have created is actually anything but…. You can’t upload love. You can’t download time. You can’t Google every one of life’s answers.’

Winner of this year’s Elsie Moore Memorial Cup for Senior Speech, Mitchell Eglinton, highlighted an area of growing concern across the globe – the impact that ‘device’ connectivity is having on the very core humanity and our ability to communicate in ‘real time.’ Delivered with poise and conviction, Mitchell was a deserving winner - however, it wasn’t easy to pick!

To understand the calibre of the two small groups of finalists who presented for the two Middle and Senior School Speech competitions, first survey the boys themselves. Almost all 500 boys in the school gave speeches in the preceding weeks, gradually moving through the ranks to be finally selected as finalists. The finalists were all strong contenders with excellent speech making skills.

Judging is not easy and this year we welcomed professional communicators, Maggie Eyre and Kate Hurst to adjudicate the senior competition, with Kate returning the following day with brother, Ben to adjudicate the Middle School competition.

The judges marked the finalists on speech construction, delivery and presentation, content and engagement, use of language and the overall impact – our winning boys ticked all the boxes!

Hot on Mitchell’s heels in the senior competition were skilled orators and past winners, Joe Duncan and Jack Sandelin. Joe reminded us of the origins of the Olympic Truce, when the Greeks put warfare aside to allow the athletes to compete in safety, and the impact that idea could have today with 67 nations currently at war. Jack looked back at social etiquette over the years, telling the boys that ‘good manners are the key to success.’

The following day at the Middle School Competition, the standard was again exceptionally high and the boys delivered original and well-crafted speeches. Kate Hurst and Ben Hurst commented on the quality of the speeches and expressed their amazement at the calibre of our boys and the way that they confidently stood in front of a large audience and spoke with ease.

The winner of this year’s Elsie Moore Memorial Cup for Junior Speech was Fionnbarr Steel Smith who spoke on ‘The Meaning of Parent Talk’ . Fionn expressed: “Over the years I’ve learned that what parents say and what they mean are not always the same thing. For instance, when my parents say that money does not grow on trees, I suppose that it is possible that my dear parents may have failed to notice the quality education I receive here at Saint Kentigern and that I am well aware that there is no such thing as the money tree.”

A very close contender and runner up was Sam McLeod who spoke on ‘Being Competitive’ He discussed what it means to be a good sportsman and how to raise the level of competitiveness in a positive way to benefit all.

All the competitors spoke with passion and charisma and truly showed why they were selected to be in the final.


 Mitchell Eglinton            

Runners Up: Joe Duncan and Jack Sandelin

Special Mention: Thomas King


Isaac Mellis-Glynn: Being a New Zealander

Thomas King: Twin Stereo Types

Will Tisdall: Never Give Up

Quinn Thompson: The Advantages of Older Brothers

Jack Webber: Procrastination

Louis Eglinton: Honesty

Jack Sandelin: Social Etiquette

Akash Mudaliar: Procrastination

Harrison Waymouth: Search for Planet Earth

Mitchell Eglinton: Auto Correcting Humanity

Joe Duncan: Olympic Truce

George Beca: Why Worry?


Ben Ross playing ‘60’s Swing’ on piano

Lion King Performance- ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’



First: Fionn Steele Smith

Runner-up: Sam McLeod


Benjamin Hardie: How School Affects Life

William Ormond: Failure

Joshua King: Why History is Important

Theo Washington: My Embarrassing Parents

Daniel Haines: Rules

Fionn Steele Smith: The Meaning of Parent Talk

Sean Trombitas: Alcatraz                             

Sam Paris: Bringing Dinosaurs Back to Life

Sam McLeod: Being Competitive

Patrick Healy: Five Superheroes


Tudor Dalziel playing ‘Kaleidoscope’ on the piano

Saint Kentigern Singers singing ‘I’ve got Rhythm’


Senior School                   Charles Wilkes and Matt Chandler

Middle School                  Akash Mudaliar


Maggie Eyre has over 30 years’ experience in business, public relations, education and theatre. She is the author of Speak Easy and Speak In Public With Confidence and has been sold all over the world. A presentation trainer, stylist and media advisor to former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Maggie’s work has been recognised in Time Magazine and in international media in the United Kingdom, China and Dubai.

Maggie returned to Auckland in 2012 after seven years of working overseas and is now the Director of Fresh Eyre, a niche training company specialising in teaching presentation and media skills. Her team of journalists, voice coaches, actors and camera operators provide Creating Presence programmes to help transform hesitant speakers into confident communicators. Maggie is guided by principles of equality, integrity and compassion and lives to make a difference, especially for disadvantaged youth and elderly New Zealanders. Her motto is: ‘never give up on anyone’.

Kate Hurst is the director of Head Held High, School of Confidence. She has been teaching public speaking and Speech and Drama to people aged 3.5 years old to adults for the last 11 years. Kate is passionate about public speaking and loves her job building the confidence, creativity and communication skills of her students.

Ben Hurst a former Crusaders and Canterbury rugby halfback is an exceptional public speaker. He is a well-respected MC and is called upon to speak regularly at both weddings and corporate functions. Ben’s dedication has moved from rugby to business, he owns a number of Little Wonders Early Childcare Centres throughout NZ.

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