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Saturday, April 13, 2024
Air cadets tackle public speaking fears at effective speaking event

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 809 Newark air cadets tackled their stage fright at the effective speaking event held by the 809 Newark Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron Wednesday, Feb. 5.

The annual competition took place at the National Croatian Centre.

Four participants – Cdt. Mia Red, Cpl. Mitchell Vanderberg, Cdt. Joshua Rowe and Cdt. Dylan Critchley – took the podium to showcase their public speaking skills. Cadets talked about bravery, the use of drones, the D-Day and the pros and cons of artificial intelligence.

For the first part of the competition, they had to deliver a five-minute speech on one of the topics provided by the Air Cadet League of Canada. During the second part, they had to deliver a two-minute impromptu speech.

Vanderberg was announced the winner. Red was a runner-up, followed by a third-place winner Critchley and Rowe, who finished in fourth place.

The winner will now compete in a regional effective speaking and, in case of a victory, will advance to provincial and national levels of competition.

All participants said they felt relieved once the competition ended.

When asked to give advice to future speakers, Vanderberg, who participated in the competition last year, said practicing helps a lot.

“Pace yourself, you can talk very fast because of the timer. Take it slow,” added Red. “Do your best.”

For one of the three judges at the event, Marie Lapointe, speech delivery was a key to a successful performance.

“How they’re enthusiastic about their topic, their confidence, eye contact with the audience,” Lapointe named some of the judging criteria. “It is a challenging undertaking but it’s a life skill that goes a long way. I admire (cadets) for all they do.”

Among other recent events that happened in the squadron, two 809 Newark senior cadets – Warrant Officer Second Class Gowans and Flight Sgt. Abt completed a Winter Warfare Basic course, organized by the Lincoln and Welland Regiment. Along with 60 members of the regiment and other senior cadets and officers from around the region, NOTL cadets learned the basics of how to survive in winter.

Earlier in January, NOTL air cadets also participated in a bottle drive in Old Town. On average, cadets raise about $2,500 a day and the raised funds will go toward supporting the programs, said Christine Lett, a squadron sponsorship committee’s treasurer.

“We’re very appreciative of the town. We have businesses and individuals who saved their bottles specifically for us, so we can’t do that for them,” she told The Lake Report. “We appreciate everyone’s contribution.”

For the next drive on April 25, cadets will be going around homes in Virgil.

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