International Public Speaking Competition

ESU International Public Speaking Competition

The International Public Speaking Competition brings together the best young speakers from all over the world for a week of international cultural exchange and public speaking contests. Now in its 36th year, it reaches over 50,000 young people in more than 50 countries across the globe. It showcases the highest standard of public speaking from around the world, while giving delegates an opportunity to meet and engage with other young people of different backgrounds and cultures.

The competition is part of a five-day programme of events, including public speaking, debating and performance workshops and educational and cultural excursions, all culminating in a two-day public speaking competition.


In order to take part in the International Public Speaking Competition participants must write and deliver a speech, the title and content of which are connected with the theme for that year's competition. Participants may interpret the theme in any way they wish.

The competition takes place over two days and across three stages. All participants are randomly assigned to one of six heats, those who progress from the heats are randomly assigned to one of two semi-finals and the successful winners of these go on to the grand final.

One participant per competing country is eligible to enter and participants must be students aged between 16 and 20 at the time of the competition.

In order to reach this stage of the competition participants must be national winners of the ESU or other recognised public speaking competitions in their country. Registration for the competition is completed by national competition organisers.

Please contact your national ESU for more details of how to get involved in your country. International ESUs are listed in our directory. Where there is no national ESU, please contact us and we can give you the contact details for your local IPSC convener.


Number of countries involved in our international public speaking competition


The ESU provides resources to help participants, schools and other organisations prepare for the IPSC. These include guides to the competition format, accommodation details, skill attributes and rules of the competition.

IPSC Handbook 2016