Following six thrilling and extremely competitive heats involving 42 participants and 18 judges, the grand final of this year’s International Public Speaking Competition took place on Friday, 14 May with the six winners addressing the concept that ‘The best route to change engages all voices’. Once again, the members of the organising competitions team were relieved that they were not the judges!
With hundreds from all over the world watching the livestream, Isabela from Brazil, Greta from Lithuania, Sameer from Pakistan, Arina from The Russian Federation and Sarolta from Hungary all gave excellent performances but, ultimately, the judges selected Pavit Coran, a first year university student from Malaysia, as the overall winner. His highly engaging speech, ‘Behind the smile’, addressed the problems encountered by those suffering from depression and mental illnesses, while looking at how these issues might best be addressed.
This was one of four competitions that the ESU ran nationally and internationally online in 2021 to give school and university students the opportunity to discover their voices and to meet and share ideas despite the worldwide pandemic.