Winning return to speaking

Connor Seddon has taken up speech-making again because he wants to pursue a diplomatic career. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Connor Seddon has taken up speech-making again because he wants to pursue a diplomatic career. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Connor Seddon says delivering an award-winning speech is all about timing.

The Logan Park High School 17-year-old recently won the Otago-Southland Rotary four-way speech competition - his first serious attempt at giving a speech since he was 12.

Connor said he used to give many speeches throughout his time at primary and intermediate school, but had not in recent years because the timing was always off.

He enjoyed putting speeches together and presenting them, but acknowledged winning speeches required time and 110% effort to put together.

''Whenever there's been a speech competition on, I've had other priorities,'' he said.

But those priorities were changing because he now had ambitions of joining the diplomatic corps.

''I want to study law next year, and then after that, hopefully work my way into the diplomatic corps.

''I've got back into speech-making because it's a necessary part of the job. It's a step towards the career.''

Connor won the recent competition with a speech about the stereotypes that teenagers were frequently tarred with.

''People see teens as rude, violent and lazy.

''It's unfair that these stereotypes are spread broadly across all teenagers.

''People should view them as individuals, like everyone else.''

Connor said the competition was ''tough''.

He was up against top speakers from Timaru, Invercargill, Central Otago and Dunedin.

Although there is no national final for the speech competition, Connor said he was not disappointed he would not be able to represent the region.

He had enough on his plate already, he said.

He was recently named best speaker at the Otago Model United Nations Assembly in Dunedin, and has been selected with fellow Logan Park High School pupil Oscar McNoe to go to Wellington for the New Zealand Model United Nations Assembly in June.

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