MIDDLE LAKE — After going virtual in 2020, the 4-H provincial public speaking competition was back in-person again, this time in Middle Lake bringing together the 32 best young speakers from across Saskatchewan.
Public speaking is a proud tradition in 4-H Saskatchewan that allows members to share a persuasive, informative or entertaining speech on a topic of their choice, developing self-confidence and communication skills.
To qualify for provincials held on April 9, members of all age categories may compete at club, district and regional competitions each spring. Only by winning regionals may the competitor qualify for provincials, held each April in a different location in the province.
Makenna Heidecker, the event’s master of ceremonies, said that as a 4-H alum, it was an interesting opportunity to get to watch the concepts and professionalism presented and how it evolves through the different age categories.
“It’s extremely helpful to be in the 4-H program and public speaking in itself, because at its core 4-H is a youth development program,” Heidecker said. “Presentation skills can help you present in a group of 100 people or it can help you just have a conversation with higher up people, more mature people, going into job interviews, being more prepared, (and) being concise.”
Even outside of performing the speeches, Heidecker said the writing, practicing and the dedication in itself are useful skills for the youth to learn.
Adrian Byman, a member of the Tisdale 4-H beef club from Wadena, competed in the senior category, taking home bronze with her speech “Change” focusing on the impact of change in people’s lives.
“I know I have a hard time with change, especially with this year being my Grade 12 year. There’s a lot of change that’s involved and I’ll be moving away pretty soon, which is a tough thing to deal with,” Byman said.
“I focused on my family moving away and focused on some of the famous people that deal with change and it’s not just ordinary people— it’s everybody. Everybody deals with change and you don’t have to feel bad about it.”
In the Cloverbud category, seven-year-old Josie Riou from the Hanley Light Horse 4-H Club took home gold with her speech “The Big Decision.” “The Big Decision” was about whether she wanted to follow in her auntie’s footsteps as Miss Rodeo Canada or choose hockey.
“I talked to my auntie, and she used to be Miss Rodeo Canada,” Riou said. “We asked her what it takes to be Miss Rodeo Canada, and we asked her what her favourite thing was— teaching people all over Canada and the USA about the sport.”
In the end, Riou said she decided she could be both.
1st Place- Josie Riou- Hanley Light Horse 4-H Club – “The Big Decision”
2nd Place- Kate Hougham – Hillmond 4-H Club – “Snow Forts”
3rd Place- Brooke Quinton – Springside 4-H Beef Club – “Important Things About Calving Time”
1st Place- Kamilah Pineda – Redvers Wranglers Light Horse 4-H Club – “EnCanto”
2nd Place- Addison Pain – Medstead Multiple 4-H Club – “The Best Trip Ever”
3rd Place- Maria Brons- West PA 4-H Beef Club – “Honey Bees”
1st Place- Amber Spray – Kelvington 4-H Beef Club – “The Rush”
2nd Place- Ava Loveridge – Goodeve Multiple 4-H Club – “Weird Words”
3rd Place- Kiersten Nienhus- Sask Valley Dairy 4-H Club – “Mental Health and You”
1st Place- Hunter Reid – Saskatoon 4-H Beef Club – “Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking”
2nd Place- Megan Kelly- Moosomin Multiple 4-H Club – “The G-O-O Family”
3rd Place- Adrian Byman – Tisdale 4-H Beef Club – “Change”