top of page

Thu, Feb 29


St. Lawrence College

Skills Competition 2024 - Prepared Speech

Competitors will demonstrate their ability to: • Present thoughts in a clear, coherent and well-constructed format • Deliver a memorable key message (main idea, opinion or position) • Make a “connection” with the audience • Demonstrate confidence and ease in speaking to the audience

Registration is closed
See other events
Skills Competition 2024 - Prepared Speech
Skills Competition 2024 - Prepared Speech

Time & Location

Feb 29, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. EST

St. Lawrence College, 100 Portsmouth Ave, Kingston, ON K7L 5A6, Canada


9:00am - 9:30am          Competitor Registration & Welcome

9:30am - 12:30pm          Competition

12:30pm - 1:00pm          Lunch

1:00pm - 3:30pm          Competition

3:30pm - 4:00pm          Clean up

4:00pm - 5:00pm          Pizza & Results Submitted

5:30pm - 6:30pm          Awards

6:30pm - 7:30pm          Open House & Collect Projects/Tools

Prepared Speech Scope 2024


2.1 Skills and Knowledge to be Tested 

Competitors will demonstrate their ability to:

• Present thoughts in a clear, coherent and well-constructed format 

• Deliver a memorable key message (main idea, opinion or position)

• Make a “connection” with the audience 

• Demonstrate confidence and ease in speaking to the audience 

• Use non-verbal skills (body language) to assist in expression

• Speak in a clear and understandable manner while varying voice pitch in tone, tempo and volume 

• Creative thinking and ideas + the ability to communicate those ideas clearly

2.2 Length of Speech

The speech shall be at least five (5) minutes in length and will not exceed seven (7) minutes. Half of one point will be deducted per 30 seconds or part thereof for failing to meet the minimum length or exceeding the maximum time specified in the scope. For example, if a student is over or under by 10 seconds, half a point will be deducted; if the student is over or under by 40 seconds, a full point will be deducted.

There will be no warning light or warning sound to indicate time allotment. Competitors should develop the skill to monitor the length of their presentation.

2.3 Topic Each competitor will speak on the following topic:

There are ever increasing advancements being made in technology. With this in mind, how might the skilled trades and technologies navigate this change?

Please note:

• Students can ask for feedback at the end of the day, after judging has been completed and scores have been entered. Students and their accompanying adults (teacher, family, etc) may not ask who placed (including themselves). Demand for this information will result in disqualification.

• In the past we have had students deliver speeches that are completely unrelated to this topic. (For example, speeches about their pets, life experiences, or hobbies.) If this happens, the student will be disqualified, as they cannot be fairly judged against other competitors who have crafted speeches based on the topic. If a student is disqualified for this reason, they can still ask for feedback based on their performance only.

2.4 Helpful Tips for Preparing and Presenting a Speech

Our current Tech Chair, Alyssa “Twist” Light, was a tradesperson and is now a professional speaker and member of The Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Twist has been involved with Skills Ontario for more than a decade; she was the Tech Chair prior to Farah Hasan, and works with speakers to develop their presentations. Twist has prepared a Public Speaking & Storytelling workshop that is open to all competitors at no charge. This program will give you direct insight into this competition and to speech crafting, storytelling, and public speaking as a whole. 

To access this program, go to; the passcode is BeAGreatSpeaker.

Those who spend the most time preparing, revising and practicing their speeches make the task look easy. However, speaking in public is not as easy as it looks. In order to help students prepare for this contest, we offer a number of helpful tips and resource suggestions:

Planning Prior to the Contest:

• Brainstorm about the theme. Spend a day considering many different ideas, which could become the building blocks for a speech.

 • Build your speech around a single, central, important theme (key message). Well crafted speeches are often pared down into one strong phrase or statement

• No speech can be written without some knowledge of the audience to which it will be delivered. For the purposes of this contest, your audience will include the judges and other competitors who are interested in developing a learning environment and assisting students in gaining a sense of personal achievement. They may be strangers, but they are also supporters. 

• Visit a library or bookstore for public speaking preparation guidebooks.

• Plan to spend at least one third of your total preparation time on practicing the speech. This time also offers opportunities to rewrite sections that need revision.

• Practice in front of a mirror, or have a family member/teacher videotape your presentation so that you can view yourself, and also critique for opportunities to enhance your non-verbal delivery skills.

• Deliver the speech in front of different groups of people — ideally similar to the audience you will be speaking for at the competition. Constructive criticism and feedback can be helpful: It’s important not to take feedback personally, as doing so can put a huge damper on your confidence. The intention of feedback is to understand where there are spots in your speech that could be improved.

• Speeches are like a conversation, with the only difference being that you are speaking to more than one person… and you’re doing all the talking. Find a way to draw everyone into the conversation.

• Don’t feel you need to stay behind the lectern. You can use the entire area. This additional movement allows you to use body language to help express your points.

• Voice is important to keeping the attention of an audience. Vary your tone, pitch, and tempo to change the pace of your speech and help to express important points.

• Memorize your speech. Cue cards or notes should be used sparingly to refer only to key phrases.


Content: 60

Mechanics: Diction, grammar, pronunciation : 5

Organization: 10

Opening of Speech: Conclusion ties everything together, smoth transition to end of speech: 5

Effectiveness: Convincing, coherent, interesting : 10

Impact: Lasting impression, memorability, creativity : 10

Relevance to Topic : 10

Deportment : 15

Dress: 5

Poise/Confidence : 10


Eye Contact : 5

Non-Verbal, Gestures, Mannerisms : 10

Voice: Pitch, tempo, volume, enunciation : 10

Total : 100

● Props/visual aids are not permitted during the speech (cue cards are acceptable). Five (5) points will be deducted from the overall total score if a competitor uses a prop/visual aid.

● We recognize that the “Dress” section can be quite subjective and that formal wear may not be accessible to all participants. Rather than judge what a student is wearing, any student that arrives in clean, business or business casual attire will receive full marks. Ripped, torn, rumpled, or stained clothing will receive deductions. For more information, please refer to the Public Speaking & Storytelling workshop referenced in section 2.4 of this document.

Prepared Speech Scope 2024

● There can be no ties. If the score is even after the contest, the “Impact” section will be used as the tie-breaker. If there is still a tie, the “Mechanics” section will be used to break the tie.

● Rule infractions will result in appropriate mark deductions at the discretion of the Technical Committee. Any disqualifications will be reviewed by the Director of Competitions.


Supplied by Competitor:

• Refillable water bottle

• Snacks (peanut-free)

• Competitors must be dressed in a clean and appropriate manner with no logos. No school or board logos are permitted on clothing.

Share this event

bottom of page