QUEANBEYAN students have done an outstanding job representing the region during the 2012 Rostrum Primary School Speaking Competition.
Jerrabomberra Public School vice captain Rhea Laverock came first and had the honour of bringing the boomerang-shaped trophy to school. St Gregory's School school captain Gabrielle Gregoire was also successful coming in third place.
Rhea is the first student from Jerrabomberra Public School to win the competition.
She said her trick to becoming a successful public speaker is to practise, practise, practise.
The year six student said she dedicated about 30 minutes a day to memorising and delivering her speech in the lead up to her first place finish.
"I was extremely ecstatic and couldn't believe I had won," she said. "All the years of hard work finally paid off."
Rhea gained a spot in the finals after speaking on the topic "If I could, I would" and clinched the deal with the topic "Chocolate, cheese, lettuce".
"It was a hard topic but I thought it would be one that not many people would choose," she said. "I spoke about how even though chocolate, cheese, lettuce are different that doesn't mean that they can't work together, they can be delicious in their own way too. I think that's the same with people and multiculturalism."
Gabrielle progressed through the competition speaking on the subject "My favourite treat" which is Creme Caramel gelato and in the finals she spoke about Fiji for the topic "My dream holiday".
"I follow the steps in a book called "How to Cook Up a Speech" when I write," she said. "Make sure you have a good intro, the middle part should tell a story and try to end it on a funny note. I think a good speech should be a little bit funny so you get the audience to listen to you."
Rhea will also compete in the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition in Sydney later this year.
She will have to prepare and deliver a four minute speech as well as a two minute impromptu speech with five preparation.
"Public speaking really boosts your confidence, to be able to speak in front of a whole group of people is a great skill and helps with a lot of things," she said.
JPS principal Chris Hunter commended Rhea on her efforts. "Rhea's strength is that she is very earnest in her delivery," she said. "She can empathise with people the subject and she has a very natural flow to her speeches and gesture so the audience really believe in what she is saying."