Established in 1980, the International Public Speaking Competition is the largest public speaking competition in the world, reaching over 1,000,000 young people in more than 50 countries across the globe in total. ‘Too many people regard public speaking as an ordeal but the standard was impressive,’ says guest judge, Jon Briggs, best known as the voice of Siri. ‘I spend my time coaching people how to speak in public and the reason I do that is because they have not learned what these young people have,’ he says. ‘Our voices are the most powerful instrument we will ever play. With it people start wars, declare love, propose marriage… and because of that we need to learn to play it well.’
After a week of intense competition and cultural exchange, the winner of the ESU International Public Speaking Competition 2019 is Ennio from Spain. The six finalists beat dozens of other contestants from all over the world, each the winner of their own national public speaking competition, to take part in the final at the Royal Institution today. They were asked to speak on the theme: ‘Nature is a common language.’
‘Delivering a speech in public teaches young people so many valuable skills,’ says Duncan Partridge, Director of Education at the English-Speaking Union. ‘In an age when society is becoming ever more fractious, and incendiary speech is used more and more often, educating young people to consider what they say and to present their arguments with logic and conviction has never been more important.’
‘The whole competition has been fantastic,’ says winner Ennio. ‘I’ve met so many people from all over the world and the community we’ve created in just one week is amazing.’
The winners from São Paulo participated in the ESU Brazilian final in Belo Horizonte on April 29th. João Pedro Neves, from the Cultura Inglesa Nova Iguaçu-RJ was the winner and represented Brazil in London.
It is amazing to see how involved they get over the week and they learn so much not only about public speaking but also about friendship, respect and collaboration.
According to João Pedro, ‘Participating in IPSC, for me, was one of the most important moments in my life so far. In addition to having met amazing people from diverse cultures and countries, I can add a great deal of weight to my resume, increasing the opportunities that will appear to me in a few years. Representing my country was definitely rewarding. Even though we are experiencing complicated times here, I was able to realize that I am immensely proud of being Brazilian and, especially, of being its representative in an event of this proportion. I learned from this competition that what always leads you to reach your highest dreams is education and effort, qualities that many Brazilians, have.
Anamaria Pelegrini (president ESU São Paulo)