Just keep breathing, and remember to smile.
That was the message from this year's Legacy Junior Speaking Tasmanian state final winner Gabriella Smith.
"I always get nervous for public speaking, but I'm really passionate about it and want to make a difference," she said.
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"You just have to focus on what you're doing and saying, instead of who's listening."
The 15-year-old from St Patrick's College was recognised as the best junior public speaker in Tasmania on Friday, beating out stiff competition from around the state.
Given her pedigree, few would have been surprised that Ms Smith was crowned the champion among the eight competitors.
Two years ago her brother sat in the same seat and, after being victorious in Tasmania, headed off to the national final.
But it was his younger sister who took the spotlight in 2021, and she credited to public speaking genes to passion.
"We all love public speaking and like to get involved with it," Ms Smith said.
"A few years back at primary school it was encouraged and we had strong background in it having started as debaters. So we just transitioned into public speaking."
Ms Smith remained suitably diplomatic about the victory, shrugging off questions as to whether her public speaking record might translate into a life in politics.
Instead, the year nine student remained ambitious about heading to university and possibly studying law to which her public speaking talents would also translate.
During the competition Ms Smith spoke on the topic "social justice", which she said was inspired by what was transpiring in the world around here - locally, nationally and globally.
She said things like equal pay, disability support and mental wellbeing were passions of hers, which made them easier to communicate to the judges.
"I'm passionate about the issues and want to raise awareness about it in our own community," Ms Smith said.
"These are current events that are happening. It's important to share issues and speak up, and to advocate why the present isn't just."
While Ms Smith spoke at length about important societal dilemmas, it was her ability to weave in the tastiness of ice cream with the work of Marie Curie that got the judges' attention.
The second part of the event pitted competitor-against-competitor in a battle of quick thinking, and quick speaking, on the impromptu topic of "ice cream".
"When I saw 'ice cream' I thought it would be good to be a bit light hearted - it can be great, it's tasty and we all enjoy it," Ms Smith said.
I imagined a world without ice cream, and compared that to Marie Curie and her radioactivity research.Gabriella Smith
The junior public speaking award had been given out by Legacy since 1988, when it kicked off in Melbourne. The first interstate final of the award was held in 1995.
Legacy Launceston had remained part of the event since its inception. Northern Tasmania was strongly represented in 2021 with six of the eight competitors from the North.
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