2017 National Effective Speaking Program Winners
1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
WO1 Heather Blake – NL WO2 Cody Lincoln – MB FCpl Samantha Keow – NB
Effective Speaking Resources
- Certificate of Merit – Squadron Level
- Certificate of Achievement – Regional Level
- Certificate of Excellence – Provincial Level
- Certificate of Distinction – National Level
- Certificate of Appreciation – for Sponsors and Volunteers
Some would say the cadet program is in my blood. I come from a lineage of success and evidence of what this fantastic program can offer to its members. I am very proud to come of what my family members achieved long before me. My grandmother was the first female Commanding Officer of her squadron, my father achieved the rank of Warrant Officer 1st Class as an Air Cadet himself and an eventual Commanding Officer, my sister was also a Warrant Officer 1st Class in her cadet career and is currently now an officer. All this paved the way for my love for this program long before I was old enough to even join. I have had the privilege of taking the lead from my family and focusing it into a love and passion that was all my own – and it allowed me to have a cadet career that was filled with incredible experiences, self-discipline, dream fulfillment and so much more.
My name is Warrant Officer 1st Class Heather Blake. I am a member of 514 Air Cadet Squadron in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. When I joined cadets as a 12-year-old, thanks to growing up around members of the program, I already knew a lot of the opportunities that would be made available to me. What I could never have anticipated, however, is the way being an Air Cadet would make me feel. The camaraderie, the self-discipline, the adventurous spirit – but most importantly, the desire that comes only from the pursuit of your dreams. That is exactly what Air Cadets has allowed me to do – it not only gave me the opportunities, but it gave me the courage and the drive to both reach for my dreams and achieve them. I can never truly express how grateful I am for that.
This program allowed me to achieve the following awards and qualifications:
- Air Cadet League of Canada Effective Speaking National Champion – 2017
- Debert Training Center – Staff – 2017
- Power Pilot Scholarship – 2016
- Glider Pilot Scholarship – 2015
- Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence – 2015
- Commanding Officers Award – 2015
- Air Cadet League of Canada Effective Speaking Provincial Gold Medal – 2014
- Air Cadet Service Medal – 2014
- Most Effective Speaker Award every year of my cadet career in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
- 100% Attendance Award – 2015
- Military Band Intermediate Musician – 2014
- Basic Drill and Ceremonial -2011
- General Training – 2010
One of these incredible opportunities was the Effective Speaking Program where I achieved gold at the 2017 National Competition held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I look forward to being an officer with this program, after I age out of the program in September. I can’t wait to give back to children all the amazing things that were given to me. I am off to Debert for the summer as a Glider Staff Cadet and I can’t wait to be able to share my passion for flight with younger cadets. It is so important for me to share all the things I’ve learned with the next generation coming up through the ranks, and the importance of the Effective Speaking competition is certainly one of them! As I leave the cadet stream of this program behind me, I look forward to a future of inspiring younger cadets to reach for their dreams and helping them get everything they could imagine from this the Air Cadet Program!
Heather Blake, 2017 National Effective Speaking Competition Winner
During my visit to Winnipeg,I met with cadets from every province of Canada (and one territory).By the end of the trip, we were all great friends and had lots of fun.Some places that we visited include the Legislative building (where we also met the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba), NORAD,Nav Canada,Boeing factory,Magellan Aerospace,Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Southport flight school(where we flew In their airplane and helicopter simulators),17 Wing military base (plus hangar tour of multiple aircraft),and Royal Canadian Mint. Every day was jam-packed with unique places to visit.In addition to this,we were also able to do fun activities such as bowling and eat at the famous Winnipeg BDIIce Cream.On our “off-time”,we also had fun debating on various topics with each other at our accommodations at 17 Wing.
The National Effective Speaking competition was held the evening of June 15 at the Fort Garry Hotel. This was a wonderful location with a great set up.
The Effective Speaking part of the air cadet program is easily one of the least-known aspects of the program but one with the highest value.One recommendation I would give is to increase the awareness of Effective Speaking so that more cadets become inclined to participate in the future. Speaking is an area that requires practise to do well,but it can help everyone everyday throughout their lifetime.
I would like to thank the organizers of this event as well as the staff and volunteers of the Winnipeg ACL and Canada ACL to make this event possible and memorable.
Jay Shah, 2017 National Effective Speaking Competition Finalist
When I joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program five years ago, I had no idea how much it had to offer. I thought cadets was all about marching, uniforms, and molding future soldiers, but over the years I have come to realize there is so much more. In air cadets I have learned music, survival, and politics. I have learned how to canoe, how to teach, and how to fly. I have discovered skills I didn’t even know I had, including effective speaking.
The effective speaking program is not a well-known aspect of cadets (ironically, it seems people don’t talk about it much) but it may be one of the most useful skills you can ever have. Whether people like it or not, chances are almost everyone in this country will do some sort of public speaking in their lifetime. It could be a job interview, a school presentation, or a toast at a wedding. Public speaking is everywhere, and the cadet program not only gives you the opportunity to practice it, but the judges and coaches give feedback on how you can become a more effective speaker. Through competitions locally, regionally, provincially, and nationally, youth all over Canada are preparing themselves for whatever life may throw at them.
I am an air cadet in Saskatchewan, my name is Pearl Barnes, and in 2016, I competed in the National Effective Speaking Competition in Richmond, BC. Don’t be fooled though; I didn’t fly all the way to a city near Vancouver just to talk. For four days the eleven other competitors and I traveled around Vancouver and Victoria, taking tours, visiting museums and taking ferry rides. We tried familiar foods like burgers and pasta, and unfamiliar foods like sushi and bubble tea. We saw incredibly tall trees, towering mountains, and vast ocean waters. Easily my favorite part of this trip was when we “flew over Canada”. Inside a large building we were ushered into a movie theater-like row of chairs. When we sat down, the lights went out, our chairs lifted off the floor, and the enormous wall of a screen in front of us lit up with helicopter views of the most scenic bits of our country. With every cloud we passed through, we could feel it on our faces (literally, as we were sprayed with a fine mist of water). This “ride”, although being one of the highlights of the trip, was only one of many extraordinary activities we participated in during our stay.
This year, in the midst of all the fun excitement, I was awarded first place in the competition. This makes me unable to participate in any more cadet speaking competitions (as it seems competing against the national winner would be unfair). Because I can’t compete, I’m trying to ensure that people everywhere compete for me. I want everyone to know the things I know, and to feel as confident speaking in front of people as I do. I love effective speaking. Not only does it make me more confident teaching cadets in my home squadron, but I get this magnificent thrill as I step up to the podium and look out onto the audience. I get more comfortable every time I speak, but that thrill never goes away.
I love air cadets, I have experienced almost every aspect. I’ve played in bands, gone camping, organized dances, done drill, taught cadets, and gotten a pilot’s license. Out of all of that and more, effective speaking is one of my favorite cadet activities. Every time I go to a competition I not only get the thrill of speaking, I also get to meet new people and learn how to better myself. (They also give us snacks which is a good benefit). I can no longer do one of the things I love, but more cadets all across Canada can! You can experience the same joy and excitement I feel in front of people, and gain a skill that will help for years to come. Effective speaking is an incredible opportunity in an even more incredible program, and I highly recommend it.
Pearl Barnes, 2016 National Effective Speaking Competition Winner
Click here to see the photo album of the 2017 National Effective Speaking Competition or watch all the speeches below.
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