GBTI Impromptu Speech Competition in full swing

School of the Nations and Mae’s Secondary School won the first round when the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) hosted its Impromptu Speech Competition 2011.

In a press release GBTI said Nations earned 525 points, beating Annandale Secondary which scored 358 points while Mae’s got 481 points, triumphing over Cummings Lodge Secondary which scored 108 points. Nations representatives “spoke relatively well on their topics” which included “Parents should be responsible for the illegal activities of their children”, “If I could be a famous persons, I would be…” and “Teenagers smoke because…,” the release said. Nations’ Damali Lambert was adjudged the Best Speaker in this round after she “expressed to the audience in basic, yet convincing words, why she would most like to be Reggae Legend Bob Marley.”

On the other hand, Annandale “fell short on their topics” in their speeches on  “Computers are more beneficial to education than books”, “Animals should have the same rights as humans” and “What do you think your best career choice is?” the release said.

In another contest, Mae’s got an easy win over Cummings Lodge, scoring 481 points while the latter scored 54. Mae’s delivered well on its topics “To me, success in life means…”, “What would you do to promote tourism in Guyana?” and “The beauty of Guyana lies in…” Mae’s Amber Low was named Best Speaker when she convinced the judges that in order to promote tourism in Guyana citizens needed to be educated about the value of the country’s national monuments and landmarks.

However, the judges felt that the entire Cummings Lodge team fell short in delivering their topics “Should school be compulsory?” “If I want to interest someone, I’d tell them about me…” and “The one thing I would like to learn is …” They also said neither team performed exceptionally well and failed to marshal basic thoughts on simple topics and express them logically. As such, the judges encouraged teachers to train their students not only for the competition but to acquire the basic skill of public speaking, a skill which Chief Judge Bonita Hunter, a lecturer at the University of Guyana, said is essential for the working world. The judges’ panel also included former educator Magda Pollard, and literary activist Petamber Persaud who is a first time judge in the competition.

In Wednesday’s competition, the Bishops’ High School and President’s College (PC) triumphed over their competitors St Stanislaus College and Covent Garden Secondary. According to the release, the Bishops’ students gave adequate responses to their topics: “If I were the opposite sex, I’d…”, “Teenagers would be better off if…” and “if I were an RnB singer, the lyrics of my song would mean….” Jubilante Cutting was adjudged Best Speaker after impressing the judges with her confidence and fluency when convincing them that teenagers would be better off if they had two strong supportive parents. The team secured a total of 626 points.

Though Saints were not victorious they put up a strong fight, gaining 566 points on topics: “If I were an author, I would write about…”, “If there was one thing I would change about myself, it would be…” and “Is gender equality real or perceived?” Mean-while, PC gained an easy win over their opponents who did not attend the match, resulting in an automatic forfeiture. The judges for this round were Joan Kendall, former head teacher of St Joseph High School and Ewart Adams and Patrick Bentick both of the Toastmasters Club. They said the round featured stiff competition and interesting presentations from both teams though some degree of nervousness hampered participants from performing at their best.

In Thursday’s round of competition St Rose’s High and St Joseph High moved on to the second round of competition. St Rose’s beat Queen’s College (QC) scoring 610 points to QC’s 599 points in a match-up judges called “close competition.” Cecilia Corbin, from the winning school, was judged Best Speaker for her creative presentation on the topic “If I were invisible for a day.” Her team-mates made presentations on topics: “Peer Pressure” and “Someone who has inspired me very much in Life….” QC also gave interesting responses to the topics: “Would I rather be wise or intelligent?”, “Who has influenced you the most in life?” and “Convince us to vote for you as President of Guyana.”

Later St Joseph High beat St John’s College with their presentations on the topics: “Why are people afraid of death?”, “All that glitters is not gold” and “Working mothers; good or bad?” St Joseph scored 631 points overall. “St John’s did not match up though they did a fair job” with their topics: “The drinking problems among teenagers”, “The most important thing in the world” and “What I want for my country within the next ten years.”

The judges for this session were Kenneth Bentick and Maureen Williams of the Toastmasters Club and Lurine Meertins, educator at the Cyril Potter College of Education. The judges commended the students on the quality of their presentations but suggested that they need to read more familiar and current affairs.

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