CIE English Public Speaking Contest 2021 – Creating the Next Generation of Orators

28 May, 2021
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The College of International Education (CIE), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) hosted its sixth English Public Speaking Contest on 20 May 2021. The Grand Final saw 12 finalists, selected among 102 participants from 41 secondary schools, compete for the five awards on offer. Following a rousing round of charismatic performances, Ms. Janita Farooq from HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No.3 Secondary School, took the coveted Champion Award.

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

The Grand Final hosted a distinguished judging panel comprising: Mr. Martin Wong, Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong Advocacy Training Council, Dr. Mable Chan, Senior Lecturer of the Language Centre at HKBU and Dr. Theresa Cunanan, Associate Programme Director of the Division of Arts and Languages, HKBU CIE. Finalists were required to perform a 3-minute speech on the topic of “Creation”, followed by a 2-minute impromptu speech responding to an unseen question. Contestants gave wide-ranging speeches on the topic, discussing such differing issues as the creation of humanity, personal identity, over-reliance on artificial intelligence, and how creating art can benefit mental health. Just as impressively, the contestants were able to deliver impromptu answers with great eloquence, showing a remarkable ability to think on the spot.   

In their closing remarks before the awards presentation, the judges provided some invaluable tips on public speaking. Mr. Martin Wong emphasised the need for speakers to pay attention to the three Ps: “Purpose”, “Preparation”, and “Present”. He noted that speakers needed to both “present”, as in perform their presentation, but also to be “present”, as in show off a clear identity during their speech.  

Dr. Mable Chan also remarked on the importance of knowing the audience and having a clear purpose while doing public speaking. If the presenter did not understand who they were speaking to and what they were trying to achieve in their speech, then that would negatively affect all aspects of the speech.

The Champion Ms. Janita Farooq commented that she felt somewhat overwhelmed at winning the contest, as it was her first experience of joining a public speaking competition. She shared the tips for future contestant that students should just try to be themselves, as public speaking is a way to showcase one’s personality, and also to not be afraid of losing, as the experience of speaking is important in and of itself.

Full list of Award Winners:

 Prize

 Winners (School)

 Champion 

 Janita FAROOQ (HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No.3 Secondary School)  

 1st Runner-up

 Nicole Reigne Pana IBARDALOZA (Law Ting Pong Secondary School)

 2nd Runner-up   

 CHAN Pok Hon Ernie (Tseung Kwan O Government Secondary School)

 Merits    

 TAM Ka Hei (Wong Shiu Chi Secondary School)
 CHAN Lok Yan Betty  (Heep Yunn School)