Effective Speaking

A foundation for the Air Cadet program is our Effective Speaking and Debating programs. What may seem intimidating to many citizens who have to speak to, and engage, an audience, has been called one the Air Cadets ‘diamonds’ in the rough!

Cadets learn the fine skills and confidence of speaking in a public forum, with the benefits being a lifetime of confidence that carries to their jobs and social situations. With coaching and practice at the Squadron level, Cadets gain the passion and confronting their fears of public speaking to move on to regional, provincial and national competitions. From gold to bronze medals, all Cadets have the opportunity to learn and grown in their debating and public speaking skill. Those who succeed at a high level will have the chance to travel to National competitions against Cadets from other provinces who bring proficiency, verbal dexterity and artful pontification that will serve them well and impress even the most seasoned toastmaster!

The aims of the Effective Speaking program is

  • to provide an opportunity for Air Cadets to develop self confidence, improve communication skills and increase their ability to reason, organize and express ideas - logically and persuasively; and
  • to foster the principals of team working and enable cadets to further develop the skills acquired through the mandatory LHQ and Summer Training Centre leadership and instructional techniques courses ; and
  • to promote the citizenship component of local squadron training by familiarizing Air Cadets with Robert’s Rules of Order; and
  • to increase public awareness at the provincial and local levels of the citizenship and leadership aspects of the Air Cadet program.

The 2019 topics for the Effective Speaking Competition are:

  • What is a Canadian?
  • 3D Printer Technology – how will it impact our future?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  • How is today’s technology causing gaps in communications?
  • How will legalizing cannabis affect our society?
  • Why should cadets be involved in fundraising for the program?
  • The positive and negative effects of advances in technology.
  • What happened to the Avro Arrow and is it time for a new one?
  • Peer pressure amongst today’s youth – fact or fiction?
  • What is the importance of gender equality in today’s youth?
  • How could the cadet program fill the gap in the aviation industry?
  • Cadet’s Choice: the Cadet’s Choice must fit into one of these categories:
      • Cadet Life, or
      • Science and Technology, or
      • Aviation, or
      • Canadian History or
      • Citizenship.

Effective Speaking Guide, Application Form, Cadet Workbook and more are in Attachments below

#3 Squadron cadets who wish to participate in the Effective Speaking Competition should talk to the CO or a member of the Sponsoring Committee. #3 Sqn cadets paticipating at Regionals will be in Region 11 which includes squadrons 27, 153, 201, 614, 599, 862 and 741. Date and location will be added to the Squadron Calendar.

More resources at http://aircadetleague.com/effective-speaking-program/

and https://www.aircadetleague.on.ca/Effective-Speaking-Resources

NEW !!! 2018-2019

The following Effective Speaking rules have been developed to supplement Rule 21 to guide ES judges in Ontario and should be shared with those coaching ES bound cadets. These rules are to be applied at the squadron, regional and Ontario level beginning in 2018. They have been submitted to our National level for consideration of more consistent rules but may not be adopted more widely for another year or two.

Speakers who fail one or more of these rules will be marked down 15%:


  • Speakers may but need not stand at attention while speaking
  • Speakers may place one or both of their hands and or arms on the podium, where a podium is used
  • Speakers may hold a microphone in their hands where a microphone without a stand is being used Otherwise a microphone on a stand should be adjusted to the correct height
  • Cadets are to speak from one location. Cadets may choose to stand behind, in front of or to either side of the podium
  • Once a cadet begins speaking, they are to remain in place until their speech ends. During their speech they may take one step /backward, forward or to one side but not more
  • Speakers may infrequently use modest arm and hand gestures to emphasize the points being made
  • Pointing with or without an extended arm will be penalized


  • Speakers may use index cards with speaking points during the Prepared Speech Round. Where this is done, we recommend binding these cards together in such a way that were they to fall, they’d not lose their order
  • Speakers may not sing, hum or otherwise make sound effects during their speech
  • Speakers must not walk about the speaking area
  • Speakers must not use any props or gimmicks of any form
  • Speakers must not assume other than a standing position during their speech, except where the health condition of a competitor requires them to remain seated, etc.