GIRLS from across the borough came together to compete in the Newtownabbey heat of Soroptimist International’s Annual Youth Award public speaking competition.
The competition was open to all year 12 and 13 students who are in full time education in Northern Ireland.
The competitors spoke on a range of subjects and the competition was won by Rebecca McMillen, whose speech was ‘www-world wide worry’ impressed the judges.
She will no go on to compete against 13 others at the final of the competition which will be held in the Great Hall of the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus next February.
Miriam Hamilton, Northern Ireland Regional President of Soroptimist International, said: “This annual public speaking competition has been running for more than 30 years and plays an important role in encouraging young women to develop the skill to speak effectively and articulate with clarity, while developing their self confidence.
“At the final, as well as delivering their prepared speech on their chosen topic, each girl will deliver an impromptu speech without research. The girls’ speeches will be judged on content, presentation, delivery and impact.”
Darina Armstrong, chief executive of sponsor the Progressive Building Society, added: “I’m delighted that Progressive has taken the opportunity to support a competition which is held in high regard in schools and colleges throughout Northern Ireland . The ability to speak constructively and coherently in a public setting is an essential skill in today’s very challenging workplace.
“I am looking forward to a very competitive and spirited competition, which I know will once again be of an exceptionally high standard.”
At the final, the winner will receive the Soroptimist Youth Award Perpetual Salver donated by Oneida Silversmiths and a replica, a bursary award of £250 towards their education, and an invitation to deliver a speech at the Soroptimist International joint North/South conference in the Burrendale Hotel next May. The winner’s school will also receive a monetary award.