Aldridge State High School student Kerrod Appleyard has won the Apex state championship award for public speaking.
Aldridge State High School student Kerrod Appleyard has won the Apex state championship award for public speaking. Megan Pope

Ad lib humour wins 17-year-old student an award

WHEN 17-year-old Kerrod Apple-yard's nerves got the better of him in the middle of his championship speech he thought he was out of the race for good.

But Kerrod's tragic and accidentally funny insight into the mind of a graduating senior proved to be just what the doctor ordered at the Apex Public Speaking State Championships, and landed the Aldridge State High School student the top prize.

"My speech was supposed to be quite serious and kind of tragic," Kerrod said.

"But I got really, really nervous and messed up, so I just started adding different bits and pieces to it. Everyone started laughing, so it was a real relief.

"I was glad to know that my screw up went so well."

Kerrod's award-winning speech took an in-depth look at the thought processes of a teenage boy as he leaves high school and enters the adult world - a world which Kerrod says was a scary premise.

"It was about how we've spent the past 12 years of our lives in school, and how daunting the idea of leaving forever can be," he said.

"It's was supposed to be sad and sappy, but it ended up really funny because I was so nervous."

Kerrod's impromptu comedic additions ended up winning him the championship at the state-wide competition, which saw him beat out his nearest competitor by only one point.