About Voice

This unique public speaking competition calls on students to think critically about current social, political, and economic issues, and propose answers to the most pressing concerns of the twenty-first century. Participants will present a prepared speech proposing their own solutions on one of the topics provided, and answer questions from an experienced and enthusiastic panel of judges.

This competition is a fantastic opportunity to improve your research and communication skills, and meet other students from across the ACT. Don’t worry if you haven’t participated in a UN Youth event before. Voice will be an awesome chance to meet new friends, develop important skills and investigate the world around you in a whole new light!

Participants who propose the most innovative solutions will get the opportunity to represent the ACT in the UN Youth Voice National Finals.

Voice runs in Term 4 every year. Information about the 2018 rounds will be released soon!


The Pitch

Years 7­–8: 4 minute speech
Years 9–10: 5 minute speech

Participants are to outline their solution for the provided topic in as much detail as they deem necessary. Their responses will be assessed in accordance with the judging criteria.

Participants may not use supportive materials to assist in their Pitch. This includes, but is not limited to, maps, charts, graphs, timelines, or presentations of any form. Participants may use palm cards or written notes during their speech.

Judges will not interact with the participants during their Pitch.

Question Time

Participants are to answer two questions posed by the judging panel in regard to their solutions. Their responses will be assessed in regard to the judging criteria, and should be directly relevant to the question asked.

Judges may ask any and all questions pertaining to the substance of the proposal as outlined in the sub-sections of the Matter judging criteria. Questions will only be directed towards the proposed solution, but may include aspects the participant has not touched upon.

Participants may ask for clarification regarding a question, or ask for a question to be reworded. They may not, however, enquire as to the validity, completeness, or relevance of their question.

Both the Pitch and Question Time are taken into account for the judging process. The three core areas that are judged in a participant’s speech in both The Pitch and Question Time are, in order of importance: Matter, Manner, and Method.

Topics and Round Information

Topics for 2018 will be released soon!

For Teachers

Voice gives students the opportunity to research a national or international issue that they are truly passionate about.

Students then have complete independence to prepare a speech on their own creative solution. Voice also allows students to use props like charts or diagrams to help explain their solutions. Furthermore, unlike standard impromptu speeches, Voice judges ask questions to students after their speeches about their chosen topic area. This is a much less daunting experience for students because they use the questions to expand on an area that they’re comfortable with. This makes Voice a good opportunity for students to be introduced to public speaking, or for experienced students to show their skills in a new format. The educational outcomes for students participating in UN Youth Voice are extensive and invaluable. The unique structure of this competition facilitates the development of the following:

  • Critical reasoning and problem solving skills
  • Independent formulation of ideas
  • Self-monitored research habits
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Self-confidence and personal presentation skills
  • Knowledge of current international events

The ability to speak in front of an audience with poise and passion is a crucial skill in the 21st century not only for education, but also to be successful in the workforce – we strongly encourage students and teachers to be involved with the competition.

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