Local cadet wins public speaking contest

Provided by 325 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron Cornwall Kiwanis

The Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada and Ontario held its annual Effective Speaking Competition on Sunday, March 27, 2022, albeit virtually this year. The winner of this year’s competition is Sgt Zoё Noort-Sigurdson, an Air Cadet from 325 Cornwall Kiwanis Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. His prepared speech focused on Canada’s history and his self-reflection on the importance of remembrance. She will move on to provincial level competition in April.

Sgt Noort-Sigurdon’s speech focused on the gravesites of members of the Forces and the importance of remembering those who have served. “Some of these brave heroes have lain in these cemeteries for so long that they have no friends or family to visit – someone must remember them, what they have done for us,” we read in his speech.

The competition saw cadets from 5 Wing Air Cadet Squadrons compete in a 5-6 minute prepared speech and a 2-3 minute impromptu speech. Wing 5 covers seven squadrons in the Ottawa and St. Lawrence region. Due to the virtual nature of the competition, the cadets were also in groups with cadets from Wing 8, which includes squadrons from Oshawa and east of Gananoque. The contest organizer was Maj (Retired) Lewis Jenkins, who had members of local Toastmasters clubs as volunteer judges, while providing valuable feedback.

The Effective Speaking Competition is an annual event hosted by the Air Cadet League of Canada, with local, provincial and national levels of competition. Cadets are given topics from which they can choose and prepare their speech. The purpose of an effective speaking contest is to give Air Cadets the opportunity to find their voice and develop their confidence through patience, instruction, and competition.

When asked what she looks forward to most from the upcoming provincial competition, she replied, “I can’t wait to hear the speeches from my fellow competitors. There was such a variety of interesting speech topics this year, I can’t wait to see what other people choose to do! I had fun at the local competition hearing other people’s speeches, and I’m sure there will be many more speeches to listen to at the provincial level!

Due to pandemic restrictions, this year the preparation phase of the Squadron Effective Speaking Competition did not take place. This required Sgt Noort-Sigurdson to prepare for his speech, practicing for several hours to perfect his tone and voice, while developing his skills independently. This is a remarkable achievement as she has never competed in the past.

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