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CIE English Public Speaking Contest discovers young elocutionists

08 Jun, 2017

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The College of International Education (CIE), Hong Kong Baptist University hosted the fourth English Public Speaking Contest on 31 May 2017. In the Grand Final, ten finalists who were selected among 300 participants from 73 secondary schools competed for titles. After a round of fierce competition, Mr. Li Ho Yeung from Sing Yin Secondary School topped the competition.

Dr. Jason S Polley, Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature, HKBU and Dr. Vicky Lee, Associate Head, HKBU CIE attended as the adjudicators of the Grand Final held on Shek Mun Campus. Finalists were required to perform a 3-minute speech on the topic “If…”, followed by a 2-minute impromptu speech responding to the question from judges. Speeches from the finalists covered a wide range of content, such as time travel, teen suicide, freedom of speech, sex slavery and human trafficking. Finalists showcased their creativity and tremendous understanding of social affairs as they incorporated Ad lib Singing and many relevant examples.

Dr. Vicky Lee encouraged finalists to be “bold and confident” to express what they believed. “Speech is so powerful that it makes people cry, laugh, love and hate. It even affects how people think. Great speakers would always deliver passion, inspiration and precise content.” She also reminded students to utilize the “God-like power of language” more often.

Dr. Jason Polley said public speaking was a kind of performance. “It is not only about the content of the speech but also the elements of performance, such as thoughtful pauses and eye-contact.”

The 2017 Champion Mr. Li Ho Yeung said his key to success was to keep himself away from reciting. “Public speaking contest is not a speech contest, so I didn’t force myself to recite the exact wordings from my script. I put my attention on the audience’s reaction instead of questioning myself on whether I said something different from my script.”

The 1st Runner-up Mr. Julian Dobrick said he put a tremendous effort into his preparation. He was grateful that his English teacher taught him a lot of public speaking techniques, such as choice of words, intonation and articulation.

CIE English Speaking Contest aims to improve students’ public speaking technique and English communication ability through practical experiences. Participants are invited to attend a series of training workshops hosted by the lecturers. With these learning opportunities, participants will become more capable in coping with their future studies and interviews.

HKBU CIE English Speaking Contest 2017 results:

Prize Winners (School)
Champion Li Ho Yeung (Sing Yin Secondary School)
1st Runner-up Julian Dobrick (AD & FD POHL Leung Sing Tak College)
2nd Runner-up Vaghani Darsh (Delia Memorial School - Hip Woo)
Merit So Yan Tung (Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School)
Yan Chi Kin (TWGHs Chen Zao Men College)
Audience Award for Best Speaker Julian Dobrick (AD & FD POHL Leung Sing Tak College)