Basin youth Quinton Migneault placed fifth in impromptu speaking at the Western National Roundup in Denver, Jan. 10-13.
Migneault, a sophomore at Burlington High School, qualified for the national competition during the Wyoming Showcase Showdown in Lander in June. At the state contest he took first in prepared speech and second in impromptu.
At the national contest he took fifth in impromptu and sixth in prepared. He said he had to use the same prepared speech but found out after the state contest that he could not use visual aids at nationals so he had two tweak his speech that had included a PowerPoint.
The prepared speech was on music and its effects on the mind and body. He said he selected the topic following an experiment he did with his chickens for another 4-H project. He played classical, heavy metal and rap music for two weeks each for his chickens. The chicken responded best to classical music, even beating out no music, Migneault said, by laying one egg more per week.
The chickens began pulling their feathers out during the two-week heavy metal period, he said.
For the national impromptu contest, Migneault said each contestant had a choice of selecting one of three topics. They then have three minutes to write down ideas on note cards and then have to give a three to five minute speech.
He selected the topic of “a recent challenge I had to complete,” because he said it was the easiest he could connect to.
Migneault said the experience at nationals was “extremely enjoyable. I got to meet some different people.” He said not every state competes, with 30 states represented and about 900 competitors in different events.
The state, he said, picked up most of the tab for he and the other Wyoming competitors. The state also arranged for a trip to Dave & Busters, a classy dinner theater and a trip to the stock show.
He said the rest of the expenses he contributed himself.
He plans on competing in prepared and impromptu speaking again this summer. He said Burlington is working on establishing a speech program but for now 4-H is his competitive venue.
He said he is tossing around different ideas for his prepared speech, keeping in mind he can’t use visual aids if he qualifies again for the Western National Roundup.
Migneault enjoys both prepared and impromptu and admits he was surprised he did as well at nationals in the event.
“I like acting and speaking in front of people is basically putting on an act; get into the character of your speech whether it’s happy, comical or serious,” he said.
Migneault, the son of Derrick and Shawna Migneualt, is a member of the Basin Livestock Wranglers 4-H Club. He has been involved in 4-H for seven years.
“I would really like to see more people doing prepared and impromptu speeches. I’d like people to get the experience and I would like more competition,” he said.
He added that he likes competing at the showcase showdown because it showcases a lot of the modern 4-H projects including speech and robotics. Things, he said, “that are important for today’s society.”