International Public Speaking Competition

ESU International Public Speaking Competition


Watch this year's final 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'.

Check out our video from last year's competition to give you an even better idea of what this programme is all about.


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

International Public Speaking Competition Registration

ESU-recognised organisers of all national qualifying competitions to the IPSC are required to register using this accompanying registration form. ESU-recognised organisers should have already received information about the competition. If you are interested in running a feeder competition and haven’t been involved in the IPSC before please email William Stileman at

Please fill out the registration form here.


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 Organisers Handbook