EMCS student Kayla Curtis competes in Rotary Public Speaking Contest

EMCS student Kayla Curtis competes in Rotary Public Speaking Contest

EMCS student represent Sooke

Public speaking is a natural for Grade 11 student Kayla Curtis

Last week Edward Milne community school student Kayla Curtis competed in the semi-finals of the Public Speaking Contest, and represented EMCS among the competitors from three school districts (61, 62 and 63). The competition is hosted by Rotary Club of Royal Oak Centennial.

Presenting students had a choice of eight topics presented to them by the Rotary and had three weeks to prepare.

Kayla Curtis was among the six students who will move onto the finals, which take place on May 7 at 6 p.m., at Spectrum Secondary.

“Kayla Curtis, Grade 11, representing Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) argued that university tuition in Canada should be free,” wrote Superintendent Jim Cambridge in his blog. “She spoke about the cost of education, and highlighted countries such as Finland who have abolished tuition fees.”

Kayla is a natural at public speaking.

“I like to talk,” she laughed, in conversation with the Sooke News Mirror, “and it’s really nice to talk for five minutes without anyone interrupting you.”

Enjoying speaking helps, as does a bit of adrenaline.

“It’s a little bit of a rush,” she admitted. After the initial jitters subside in the first moments of actually speaking, seeing that she has engaged her audience, she relaxes into her presentation.

For those interested in (or forced into) public speaking, Kayla offers this advice: “Go ahead, write it, practice as much as you can, and go in and do it. If nothing else, it’s going to be a great learning experience.”

The audience, too, tends to be sympathetic. “They want you to do the best you can,” Kayla observed.

In an area long identified as the top human fear (followed by death and spiders, in that order), Kayla approaches public speaking with discipline and repetition. Her “formula” for success is spending one-third of her time writing the speech, and another two-thirds practicing in front of anyone who will listen. Practice also results in speech revisions, which are ongoing.

Besides practicing her speech in front of friends, family and school supporters, she also engages her seven-year-old brother, Jesse.

“He had to listen to me practice at least a dozen times. I don’t think he knew what any of it meant, but he did give me a very nice round of applause.”

“I found the whole event inspiring,” said Vice Principal John Lyall, adding this was the first year EMCS has participated in the event. “She was great,” he said, referring to Kayla’s speech at the event. “She’s a very strong candidate. She wrote a very polished essay.”

According to the Rotary Club of Royal Oak Centennial’s website, “The scholarships offered by the Rotary Club will be $1,000 for the best presentation, $750 for the runner-up, $500 for the third candidate and three ‘consolation’ scholarships for the remaining three finalists.”

Tickets are available from the hosting Rotary Club, and cost $15. The finalists’ presentations will be followed with a finger-food reception at which the winners will be announced.

Just Posted

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
EDITORIAL: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

The Victoria International Airport saw its revenues plummet in 2020. Officials hope a proposed warehouse will be a significant revenue generator. (Black Press Media file photo)
Head of Victoria Airport Authority makes economic pitch for Sidney warehouse project

Geoff Dickson said Sidney stands to earn $325,000 in annual taxes

Discarded construction materials make up nearly 40 per cent of all materials sent to the landfill from sources in the city of Victoria. (Zero Waste Victoria)
Victoria looks to curb construction waste

Victoria wants to see buildings deconstructed instead of demolished

Oak Bay police responded to numerous calls between May 10 and 16, including a domestic dispute, multiple dangerous driving offences, two thefts and a suspicious male. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay police respond to domestic dispute, dangerous drivers

Vehicle clocked going 134 km/h in 50 km/h zone

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Social media run-up includes Dianne Watts endorsement

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
‘Obviously, he’s a fighter’: Golden eagle, recovered from poisoning, back in Kootenay wild

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Most Read