Schools have yoyo'd in and out of the classroom since the COVID19 pandemic struck. Most of the preliminary rounds were completed when Victoria's lockdown number six was announced. Remarkable agility was required to hold Round 8 and the finals on Zoom. A new set of preparations were key to its success.
  • The Wynspeak Committee held several practice sessions to work out factors such as timekeeping and the logistics of breakout meetings, and how to introduce and spotlight speakers. Also, contingency planning was vital in case of disrupted internet connections.
  • A student rehearsal was held two days before the final where Toastmaster Greg Bowlen provided student coaching on setting up and presenting to a camera, instead of a live audience.
  • Breakout rooms were used for briefing students beforehand, and afterwards for the adjudicators to discuss scoring. The chief adjudicator's son, Paul Ryan, provided the "waiting music" and entertained on acoustic guitar.
  • The Senior category winner, Alfi Huda from Lakeview Senior College, spoke passionately about arranged child marriages (her grandmother was engaged at only 8 months old). Junior category winner, Sam Brooker from Altona College, highlighted environmental problems with plastics. The linked videos above cover their speeches.
The Wynspeak Committee greatly appreciates the efforts by the students, their supporters, the audience, the adjudicators, MC Taylor Morris and Zoom host Sandi Fulcher.  They addressed the many challenges and changes required to make the 2021 Wynspeak Final such a success on Zoom.