Minarets High School senior Grant Hall exhibited his strong public speaking skills on his way to winning the Lions Club Zone Student Speakers Contest March 14.
The contest featured the winners of Mountain Area Lions Club contests. The club winners were Hall (North Fork), and three Yosemite High students - senior Maya Mendonca (Sierra Lions Club), senior Paizley Jackson (Mountain Lions Club, and sophomore Victoria Boding (Bass Lake Lions Club).
The topic for the 78th annual state-wide contest was “Water Conservation - How We Can Reduce, Recycle and Reclaim?” Each contestant had 10 minutes to deliver their speech.
The purpose of the contest is to provide an opportunity for competitive public speaking, to stimulate self-expression and independent thinking while presenting to the public national problems, and become comfortable addressing audiences.
Each speech is judged on the originality of the content (main points supported by evidence, clear conclusions) - the delivery of the speech (voice control, enunciation , sincerity , enthusiasm, poise) - and effectiveness (cohesive effort, logical, organized, and persuasive).
Hall, the son of David and Christina Hall of Yosemite Lakes Park, won $125 for his efforts and advances to the April 5 Regional Contest in Atwater. The winner of that contest goes to the District contest, followed by the Area contest, and the State finals.
The winner of the Regional contest receives $175, 15 District winners receive $4,500 each, four Area winners receive $6,500 each, and the State winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship. The Lions Club Foundation provides $103,500 in total cash awards for this year’s contest.
In the history of the event, only eight speakers from the Central Valley have won the state title, with half of those representing from Modesto.
Hall said he is grateful for the amazing opportunity the Lions Club has provided for him.
“The North Fork Lions Club has been a huge supporter of my high school, and I am pleased to represent them at the Regional contest,” Hall said. “Water conservation is such an important topic, especially with the current drought California is in. I am looking forward to continue competing and hope to make it to the very top.”
Chairman of the Zone contest was Chris Baker, a member of the Bass Lake Lions Club.