Woodford house


Don’t Shrink, Shine

Tall poppies was an appropriate subject for Community Prefect Abigail (Abby) May to base her speech entitled ‘Don’t Shrink, Shine’ around at a recent young speechmaker competition in Masterton.

Abby spoke about pride and being a tall poppy at the regional final of the Lions Club Young Speechmaker competition. Her audience, which included 14 competitors from Gisborne to Wellington, were encouraged to receive compliments, to recognise their gifts and to go out into the world and shine – an inspiring message.

As well as the prepared speech of six minutes on a subject of their choice, the competitors had to present an impromptu speech of two minutes. The subject for this was ‘Unfortunately’.

Abby was named the winner and will now go forward to represent her school, the Havelock North Lions Club and the region at the national final in Wellington in August. The prize for the national winner is a six week trip to the USA and Canada with the runner-up travelling to Australia.

Abby is a great example of a ‘tall poppy’ herself, especially as a communicator. In 2015 she was one of the finalists in the National RSA Speech competition which saw her represent youth at the ANZAC celebrations at Gallipoli. Since then she has travelled throughout the region speaking about this experience to a wide range of audiences from schools to Professional and Business (PROBUS) groups.

All the best at the national final, Abby.

Mrs Josephine Carpenter, Director of Performing Arts

Watch an excerpt of Abby performing her winning speech at assembly: