International Public Speaking Competition

ESU International Public Speaking Competition


You can watch last year's final in its entirety here!

The International Public Speaking Competition is at the heart of the English-Speaking Union's mission, bringing together oracy, cultural exchange and a hefty dose of friendly rivalry.

The competition brings the best young speakers from all over the world to London for a week of cultural exchange and public speaking contests. Established in 1980, it now reaches over 600,000 young people in more than 50 countries across the globe, showcasing the highest standard of public speaking, while giving delegates an opportunity to meet and engage with other young people of different backgrounds and nationalities.

Finalists (national winners of the English-Speaking Union's or other public speaking competitions in their country) must write and deliver a speech connected with the theme for the year's competition. Past themes have included 'Culture is not a luxury but a necessity' and 'The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they have none'.

Hear from this year's participants, find out what’s going on as the competition unfolds and join the global conversation.

Use #ESUIPSC on Twitter to appear on the wall below!


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 on 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.

Find out which countries or regions have won the competition in previous years by looking at this download.


Number of countries involved in our international public speaking competition