The role and importance of alumni in the work of the ‘International ESU in Hungary’ by Steve Jones, Chairman of International ESU Hungary
Winners of the final of the IPSC in Hungary have a unique insight into the needs of competitors in London in the international final. As a result we were looking for ways we could include them in roles best suiting their skills. We particularly wished to make the roles high status and high visibility - and judging met these criteria perfectly.
We ask the judges to provide the questions for the competitors and their final decision, based on each individual jury member’s ranking, is arrived at after a comprehensive discussion within the jury – which includes native speakers as well as past winners - and is unanimous.
As we also have a junior competition for 14 and 15 year olds, we deem this a suitable competition for alumni to manage themselves because the role is not one of adjudication but involves critical, supportive comment and advice. The result is an event which is positive for both the alumni and the participants and gives both groups opportunities for development.
When competitors begin by making 3-minute speeches as juniors at 14 or 15 years of age and then take part – often more than once - in the international IPSC final for 16 to 20 year-olds, following this with involvement as jurists and questioners, a gradual development process takes place which benefits our competitors at every stage.
The final step is ideally for one or more of the alumni to become involved in the organisation of the Foundation (International ESU in Hungary) alongside our more experienced staff. This has already happened: a former winner alumna, Bába Kitti Klaudia (winner 2016), is now working with our main organiser; and winning alumni Lazancz Eszter (2012), Dezsényi Balázs (2013), Kállai Zoltán (2014), Birta Alíz (2015) and Radvánszki Ronett (2017- pictured above) are also fully involved, three of them serving on the board of the Foundation itself.
These alumni will be the backbone of the Foundation and its competitions for the foreseeable future, ensuring that the work will continue and develop, and will help to maintain youthful attitudes and flexibility alongside more experienced native speakers and Hungarian English language teachers.
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.