Isabella proves she’s the best in New Zealand!

Isabella Drummond is no stranger to our school newsletter – we’ve documented her amazing achievements over the past couple of years. And now she’s done it again, winning the New Zealand Lions Young Speechmaker Competition final in Palmerston North last weekend. Thanks to Hillcrest Lions Club for sponsoring Isabella!

Here she shares her experience of being in, and winning, the competition.

“Every year, the Lions Clubs of New Zealand offer youth from 16 to 21 years of age the opportunity to participate in a national public speaking contest. This competition is designed to encourage confident orators to test their public speaking abilities, with the hope of winning one of the generous cash prizes.

“Participants must present a 5 to 6-minute prepared speech, as well as a 2-minute impromptu speech. The New Zealand Lions Club Young Speech Makers’ Competition usually begins with District contests throughout the country. I first participated in the Auckland district competition, and I was very grateful to have been sponsored by the Hillcrest Lions Club.

“The Auckland District competition, in which I competed, took place on 11 June in Papakura. For this District competition, my prepared speech topic was “Let me be a young person today; I’ll be a leader tomorrow.” This topic is important to me because it discusses young people having the strength and belief in themselves to grow into confident and determined individuals. Us rangatahi (youth) need to be the change we want to see. The impromptu topic I was given for the Auckland District contest was simply “The Environment”. My interpretation of this topic was the negative impacts of climate change and global warming. I was very proud to have placed 1st in the Auckland District Competition, and I was extremely excited to be moving forward to Nationals.

“The National Final of the New Zealand Lions Club Young Speech Makers’ Competition took place in Palmerston North on Saturday 13 August. There were students competing from across the country who had won their District contest. I met students from Dunedin, Christchurch, Hawkes’ Bay and Hamilton – all of whom were very talented orators.

“At nationals, I decided to stick with the topic of my prepared speech from regionals, as it was something I was still passionate about. The impromptu topic we were given was “Should New Zealand host the Common Wealth Games?” I said that we should, considering it would be a great opportunity for Aotearoa to gain representation and global attention.

“At the conclusion of the national event, it was announced that I had won the New Zealand Lions Club Young Speech Makers’ Competition! I felt incredibly humbled to be the national winner, and I was even more grateful to have received the 1st place cash prize of $2,500.

“At the start of this speech journey, I would have never thought that I would place 1st in the country. Although I cannot compete again next year, I would encourage any willing student to participate in this speech competition! Like me, you may never know where it will take you until you give it a go.”