The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), in collaboration with their platinum sponsors, NFU Mutual, hosted the highly anticipated final of the Public Speaking Competition 2023 on Thursday, November 2nd, at Ballymena Academy.
This annual competition is a testament to the commitment of YFCU and NFU Mutual to the personal and professional development of young farmers in Northern Ireland. The event serves as a platform for participants to enhance their confidence, public speaking skills, research, and preparation abilities, as well as time management. Furthermore, it encourages them to voice their opinions on current topics from various perspectives.
Martin Malone, Regional Manager for Northern Ireland & Scotland at NFU Mutual, said: “We are extremely proud to support the YFCU Public Speaking Competition each year.
The skill of public speaking is one that is fast becoming crucial for our young people to develop and have confidence in. I am very impressed with the high level of preparation, research, and enthusiasm all participants have demonstrated.”
The competition attracted participants from YFCU clubs across Northern Ireland, all vying for the titles of the best-prepared and impromptu public speakers. Distinguishing the winners in each category proved to be a challenging task for the experienced panel of judges.
In the prepared section of the competition, participants delivered well-thought-out speeches on selected topics from a specified list. The impromptu section challenged members to speak on a previously unseen topic, with speeches lasting a minimum of 1 minute 30 seconds. Participants were given a set amount of time to prepare, depending on their age category. They were evaluated by judges on criteria such as platform manner, voice production, content, and the effective presentation of facts.
The evening featured a distinguished guest speaker, Paul Black, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), whose insights added value to the event.
Lauren Hamilton, representing NFU Mutual, commended all the finalists after listening to a selection of the speeches. She expressed her admiration for the remarkable talent displayed throughout the night.
Stuart Mills, President of YFCU, announced the competition winners, and Lauren Hamilton had the honour of presenting the prizes on stage.
Stuart Mills, President of YFCU, commented: "The YFCU Public Speaking Competition 2023 has once again showcased the remarkable talent and dedication of our young farmers. It's a testament to the growth and development that our organisation fosters. We are immensely proud of the participants and grateful to all those who made this event possible, including our platinum sponsor NFU Mutual.”
The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, the guest speaker, judges, stewards, and coaches who tirelessly supported the participating clubs. Special thanks go to Ballymena Academy for hosting the final event and, last but not least, to the dedicated YFCU members who participated and made this competition a resounding success.