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IGCSE Students Public Speaking Competition Report

The ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition is organised by a unique educational charity and membership organisation dedicated to giving young people the speaking and listening skills and cross-cultural understanding they need to thrive. This year, as IGCSE students, we participated in the Cardiff heat of the 2019 ESU competition. Team 1 comprised of Mikhail Babunashvili as the chairperson, Nicholas Kwok as the questioner and Sunny Li as the main speaker. Team 2 comprised of Gabriel Huang as the chairperson, Kendra Yong as the questioner and Zaynab Yaqoob as the main speaker.

In Zaynab’s speech, she made some intriguing points on the topic ‘You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness’. She explained why we must have both happiness and sadness in order to be able to feel and appreciate our lives fully. Her use of sophisticated language as well as her emotional delivery undoubtedly ranked her as one of the top speakers of the day. Sunny gave a very relatable and controversial speech to his fellow teenagers on the topic ‘Today’s youth have lost the art of conversation’. He pointed out that developing technology is not causing teenagers to lose the art of conversation but, instead, is evolving it. His humorous personality was fused into speech as he delivered some hilarious jokes. The audience absolutely loved this amusing young man!

Mikhail brought enthusiasm to the crowd with his entertaining opening and energetic tone. Hosting the session incredibly well along and delivering a sublime conclusion led him to be awarded the prize of Best Chairperson of the day. Congratulations to him! Gabriel also gave a brilliant opening entertaining the crowd with his lively delivery. Nicholas did a great job on quizzing the guest speaker from Howell’s School discussing the pros and cons of apprenticeship and higher education on the topic ‘Apprenticeships are as important as higher education’. Kendra was successfully able to clarify some vague ideas about whether cathedrals should be used for fashion shows with precise questions aimed at the speaker from Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern School. 

All in all, we learnt a lot during and before the competition. We learnt to work as a team to prepare the best speech possible, improving our oracy and writing skills.  We also worked well with our A2 ‘coaches’ Bertha Wong, Buraq Ahmed and Ahmed El-Shaboury - we would like to thank them for all of their help!

Yi-Hin Fong and Antonia Wong (IGCSE)