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CIE English Public Speaking Contest 2019 – The Quest for Truth and for Good Speakers

17 Jun, 2019

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The College of International Education (CIE), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) hosted its fifth English Public Speaking Contest on 24th May 2019. The Grand Final saw 12 finalists, selected among 125 participants from 51 secondary schools, compete for the six awards on offer. After a tough battle of linguistic jousting, Ms. Donna Izabel Manlangit from HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No.3 Secondary School, took the coveted Champion Award.

The Grand Final hosted a distinguished judging panel comprising: Mr. Kevin Forde, Programme Leader of English for Professional Communication at the University of Wollongong College Hong Kong/Community College of City University, Dr. Matthew DeCoursey, Assistant Professor of Literature at the Education University of Hong Kong and Dr. Sidney Chan, Lecturer at HKBU CIE. Finalists were required to perform a 3-minute speech on the topic of “Truth”, followed by a 2-minute impromptu speech responding to an unseen question. Contestants excited the audience and judges with an eclectic mix of speeches, with subjects ranging from freedom of press, to LGBT rights, to social inequality, to the Battle of France. Each speech gave an interesting perspective on the main topic and impromptu answers were impressively detailed with some excellent use of examples.

In their closing remarks before the awards presentation, the judges provided some invaluable tips on public speaking. Mr. Kevin Forde said he was impressed with how well prepared the contestants had been and that the beginning part of most speeches had piqued his interest, an important skill in the art of public speaking. He added that speakers should pay close attention to their body language, as well as the overall pace of their speech.

Dr. Matthew DeCoursey said public speaking was about communicating clearly and ensuring there is no disconnect between the speaker and their words, something that might happen through “over-rehearsing.”

The 2019 Champion Ms. Donna Izabel Manlangit admitted to feeling a little apprehensive at the start of her speech during preliminary round, but her confidence grew continuously. She was pleased to have made a connection with the audience, exemplified in her winning of the Audience Award for Best Speaker. She expressed gratitude to her teacher for helping her improve some of her shortcomings in the weeks prior to the contest.

The CIE English Speaking Contest aims to improve students’ public speaking techniques and English communication ability. These skills will prove useful in their future studies, employment and daily life.

HKBU CIE English Speaking Contest 2019 results:

Prize Winners (School)
Champion & Audience Award for Best Speaker MANLANGIT Donna Izabel (HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No.3 Secondary School)
1st Runner-up CHAN Shing Chung (Tuen Mun Government Secondary School)
2nd Runner-up NG Hei Yin Eunice (PLK Centenary Li Shiu Chung Memorial College)
Merit CHAN Ho Hin (N.T Heung Yee Kuk Yuen Long District Secondary School)
LAU Pak Hei (N.T Heung Yee Kuk Yuen Long District Secondary