Singleton, Muswellbrook, Muswellbrook South, Denman, Belltrees, Murrurundi and Ellerston public school pupils take to the stage in regional public speaking competition

“I HAVE a dream”, “Yes we can”, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”… these are all quotes from famous speeches throughout history.

And, local kids are being taught how to command the stage as those leaders did.

Students from across the Upper Hunter gathered at Muswellbrook South Public School to partake in the regional speaking competition on Thursday.

The event is in its second year and encourages pupils to get up in front of their teachers and peers – and present a speech they’ve written.

The kids had creative freedom to incorporate all different forms of verbal communication into their presentation, with some adding nursery rhymes and others imitating news readers.

Teacher and organiser Ashlea Farrugia said it was an incredible chance for pupils to refine skills that would be crucial later in life.

“It builds confidence within children, it gives them fantastic speaking skills to speak in front of an audience because that is invaluable,” she said.

“That’s a priceless life skill, especially when they’re going for a job.”

She was extremely impressed with some of the students, and put no cap on what some of the participants could achieve based on their performances on Thursday.

“They’ve really blown me away,” Ms Farrugia admitted.

“The high level of speaking is just phenomenal and it’s really blown our socks off… [there’s a] future Prime Minister in there somewhere, definitely.”

The program provides kids from a variety of grades a chance to inspire, with a student from every classroom performing in class, then a winner being chosen and competing at school level before reaching the final.

Singleton, Muswellbrook, Muswellbrook South, Denman, Belltrees, Murrurundi and Ellerston public schools all participated.

Ms Farrugia said while they were focused on local success at the moment, there was no ruling out future winners being sent to Sydney events.