Unconventional Oration

Artwork: Emily O'Neill

It’s a turn of events that will no doubt revolutionise speech-writing for years to come. Danny Roberts, aged nine, has taken out the top prize in the North Canberra Public Speaking Awards: Primary School Division, without turning to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. When asked about this bold decision, Roberts stated that he simply didn’t feel as if the terms “journey” or “destination” needed explaining. His competitors clearly did not feel the same, with four out of six of them opting for the classic opener.

Danny’s parents were excited about him taking the gold, with one witness claiming that they actually stood up and clapped politely when he won.

“We’re just so proud of him,” commented Mum, Seher. “Danny’s always been a bit slow. It’s good to know he can string a sentence together.”  Danny’s older sister, Maya, refused to attend the event or comment on his win on the grounds that, “it’s not that impressive anyway.” Maya’s lukewarm reception may be a result of lingering humiliation regarding her failed entry into the competition three years earlier, with the teenager only receiving a participation ribbon.

Other notable moments from the day included one attendee mixing up her palm cards and improvising the last half of her speech in tears. Another sang three lines of Katy Perry’s smash hit ‘Roar’ to close her oration. Audiences remain unsure if this musical interlude worked for or against the contestant, though all agree that it was definitely memorable.

The next round of competition will be Canberra-wide. The topic has yet to be announced, but thrilling rumours suggest that it may be ‘Peer Pressure…For Good?’ or ‘Cyberbullying: Why It’s Bad.’

Further updates will be posted soon, including confirmation of which church hall the exciting event will take place in and if the entry donation is gold-coin.




Think your name would look good in print? Woroni is always open for submissions. Email write@woroni.com.au with a pitch or draft. You can find more info on submitting here.


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