The English Speaking Union’s International Public Speaking Competition 2022
The Senior competition had semi-finals held online on Thursday 24th March 2022 and the final on Friday 25th March 2022 on the Zoom platform. The topic was “Our real choices are made without us realising it”
The competitors in the first semi final were: Földvári Blanka, Horváth Bence, Kovács Áron, Ledniczky Laura, Pusoma Dóra, Szikszay Ákos and Szabó Sára. Földvári Blanka, Ledniczky Laura and Szabó Sára went through to the final. (Judges were Henry Scullion of Toastmasters and Dezsényi Balázs – the competition winner in 2014)
The competitors in the second semi final were: Kirják Luca, Kovács Bianka, Shaaban Laura, Szemerády Zsanett Varga László and Zimonyi Dóra. Shaaban Laura, Szemerády Zsanett and Varga László went through to the final. (Judges were Henry Scullion and Ilona Jobbagy – former head of Oxford University Press in Hungary)
The final was judged by Henry Scullion from Toastmasters, Dezsényi Balázs (the competition winner in 2014) and Lőrincz Sarolta, (the competition winner in 2021). The winner, who will represent Hungary in the online International Final was Földvári Blanka and the runner up was Shaaban Laura.
Above: Plaque presented to the winner. Above right: ESU shield (First shield 2003 to 2011, second shield 2012 to 2021) with the 2022 winner the first shield at the top of the third ESU IPSC shield..
The Junior competition, was very successful with seven entries and a standard almost as high as in the IPSC itself. Bába Kitti Klaudia and Ilona Jobbagy were providing the feedback to the speakers after each speech. The speakers were Nagy Lilla Jácinta, Zajácz Enikó, Nagy Lilla Jácinta, Boros Laura Zoé, Balogh Kincső Németh Zsolt and Seben Anna
The organisation of this year’s competition
Below is the main points of the PRELIMINARY DOCUMENT (sent to all school before the competition)
Due to the continuing COVID situation we have been required to continue with the format as one of a remote, online competition through the medium of Zoom, a platform suitable for the IPSC and the one being used by the London ESU for its final.
The finalists will be sent an invitation by email and will have to log onto Zoom, which can be downloaded free. Your teachers may be familiar with the system but certainly your friends will be. We would ask you to follow the following instructions carefully so that the event can run smoothly.
Speakers (Junior and Senior competitions)
This is a public speaking competition and the rules are, therefore, the same as in the competition in previous years. Competitors are asked to wear clothing which is suitable for making a public speech, smart perhaps, without logos or badges.
You will need to set up a zoom ‘studio’ which consists of a room as shown in the diagram. When delivering your speech, it will be important to speak clearly so you can be heard. The day before the competition itself, Wednesday 23rd March beginning at 2pm and lasting until 5pm. I will set up a technical meeting so you can test out your system. This meeting is for both Junior and Senior participants to iron out any problems. I will set up a zoom call time and send you an invitation for this set up period. You should enter as soon as you can but this set up may take from a few seconds to half an hour if there are problems.
The Senior Competition
The main competition will follow the pattern of previous years i.e. a 5 minute speech (minimum length 4m 30s, maximum 5m 30s) with bell warnings at these 3 times. Speeches are to be given without ‘props’, displays or other devices (If in doubt ask the organisers) however the speaker may use brief notes. A speech should never be read.
On Thursday 24th March (from 1.30 pm) the semi finalists will be taking part in two heats of up to 7 speakers per heat. The top 3 from each heat will go through to the final. On Friday 25th March (from 1.30 pm) speakers, judges and organisers will receive an invitation to join a zoom meeting. There will be up to 6 speakers, 3 judges, a timer and the organiser. In addition there may be teachers logging in as well. It is useful to get someone to deal with the technical side of things. When you try to enter the meeting, I will have to admit you, so be patient as a number of people will be entering at the same time.
Unless you are speaking your microphone should be muted. Once a speaker has finished and answered questions, they are free to watch the other speakers but with their microphones muted.
Once each speaker has taken their turn, the competition is over. The organiser, Steve Jones, will address the competition and then close the session. Everyone except the judges and organisers will be asked, temporarily, to leave the meeting.
The judges and organisers will then continue in a separate breakout room on Zoom, scheduled for half an hour or so, to deliberate and decide on the winner and runner up. Competitors will have been given a time, at the end of the speeches, when they should try to re-enter.
Announcing the winners
Using the same zoom invitation, the speakers should log back into the meeting to be addressed by the judges and receive the results. The first and second places only will be announced. Debriefings can be arranged with the judges at the convenience of the speaker and judge allocated. Steve Jones will then wind up the session with thanks and further information.
The winner will be asked to take part in the International Zoom Final, organised in London. Further details will be made available to the winner (and runner-up as reserve).
The Junior Competition
The junior competition Friday 25th March (from 3 pm) is for those who are too young to enter the main competition. This gives an opportunity for younger speakers to practise in front of an audience with feedback in a competition situation.
Everything will be the same for the organisation – the layout, muting microphones etc – except that there will be no questions at the end of the speeches and the duration will be 3 minutes. As in previous years the judges will give immediate feedback and participants can watch and listen to the other speakers.
Steve Jones will wind up the competition after the judges have completed their individual comments and any further general comments they might like to make.
The organiser of events for the International ESU in Hungary is the chairman, Steve Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org). Information on the ESU can be obtained on the website www.singlish.hu. The organiser to whom all entries should be sent and enquiries should be made is Judit Borszéki (email@example.com).
Below are some suggestions for participants given in a letter previously.
A bit of good advice for participants
“The world is bigger and smaller than it’s ever been”
The subject of your speech is of your own choice but based on the title given above. Try to make your speech …
- Of length 5 minutes (minimum length 4m 30s, maximum 5m 30s)
- Supported by crib cards indicating (using single words or brief phrases) the next point
- Without the use of props other than your crib cards
- Personal to you – perhaps with an anecdote or based on your own experience.
- Exciting with a good beginning designed to get the audience’s attention
- Well structured with sound logic and explanations
- In a clear voice at a good tempo with suitable breaks and silences
- Humorous in parts and serious in others
- End in a suitably memorable way – related to the topic and your personal aims
Questions will be asked at the end of your speech so be prepared and know your subject. Try to anticipate questions which might be asked but don’t repeat the question before answering as this may annoy judges. Try to structure your replies clearly.
When preparing all of this, try to get your friends or teachers to question you on your speech so that you can get used to answering the question asked, briefly and precisely. Make your answers short and to the point. It will not help your case if you ramble on and around the topic.
There are some things you should try to do:
- Dress in an appropriate manner and make sure you have everything you need
- Try to remain calm throughout the speech
- Use movement to illustrate your speech – but remember too much movement may be distracting
- Identify several people in the audience and direct your speech to them, not to the judges. (Online this is not as relevant)
- Practice speaking to a person or group of people and make sure you can be heard clearly
- Answer the person asking the question but remember everyone wants to hear the answer so keep your voice up
- Use appropriate language throughout both the speech and the questions – the use of slang might be part of your speech but should not be part of questioning
- You are not an actor playing a part so keep your speech very much in the realms of reality.
- Try not to talk over the audience – if the laugh etc – but repeat, if necessary, any point which was lost in such audience response (Online this is not as relevant)
- Make your speech fit the timing precisely. The judges will expect you to finish within the time allocated.
- The end of your speech should be quite obvious – there is no need to thank the audience for listening or for their attendance
The competition sponsors are:
- Steve Jones who has covered all of the anciliary costs of the competition
- Oxford University Press which has provided prizes for the competitors
- Toastmasters who have provided a native speaker judge for the semi-finals and final.
- Inter Relocation who have provided the entry fees for the International Competition.