With a little imagination Anita Donovan turned ignorance into a winning prepared speech for the Rostrum Voice of Youth state final.
The year 12 student at Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta, from Carlingford, has progressed to the national finals of the public speaking competition in Adelaide on Saturday.
There she will give her six to eight minute speech on the topic of ignorance which she has moulded to fill the theme 'the hole in the wall".
Problems with the umbrella term 'indigenous' and the pursuit of science were all woven into the narrative.
"People dislike ignorance and think we need to cover it up . . . but it's something that you can't avoid and may actually be a positive thing," she said.
Anita said the nerves don't lessen with each presentation and though the preparation time of 15 minutes for the impromptu section of the competition was generous, every second counts.
"If you don't come up with an idea straight away it's panic stations," she said.
"The topic I chose was 'Get to the point'. I went with the fact that politicians don't talk about their policies.
They sort of fluff around with these vague notions of 'we need to save' or 'we need to fix the economy' or 'we need to stop the boats' and then they don't actually talk about how they do that, or what that means or why they're doing it.
"Are they going to build a wall across the ocean? It also means a lot of people don't know what they're voting for or what they're opposed to."
Anita said the judging criteria was simple.
"It's 50 per cent impact on the intellect, and 50 per cent on the emotion which includes how you deliver the speech and also what emotions you're hoping to evoke.
"I look for laughs."