The ESU International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) is the largest and oldest public speaking programme in the world. Each year, the winners of the National Public Speaking Competitions from all over the world come to London to represent their countries at the global forum, held at the ESU Headquarters Dartmouth House. This year the event started on 9 May and proceeded until 13 May 2016. The participants, aged 16-20, performed their speeches and made friends with people from all over the world.
I was honored to represent Ukraine at the IPSC2016. With all my heart I have enjoyed the time with fabulous young individuals, each of whom represented her own country. Open-minded, honest, provocative, persuasive participants from all over the world gathered to share their culture, traditions and opinions.
This fantastic event is not just about competing. The participants get a chance to take part in a series of cultural, social, and educational events in London. We got incredible experience from different workshops and events organized by the ESU. Group workshops with the ESU mentors, experienced public speakers and debaters, gave us an opportunity to practise and master our skills. The play “A curious incident of the dog in the night” we saw at Gielgud theatre showed us the variety of modern British theatre. While exploring different historical artefacts and pieces of art in the British museum we broadened our horizons. We also had a breathtaking workshop with a professional actor at the Globe Theatre.
The event that made one of my first days in London very special was meeting the ambassador of Ukraine Natalia Halibarenko, who kindly invited me and warmly welcomed at the Ukrainian Embassy. Together we discussed the differences in Ukrainian and British education and possible changes in the national educational system. I have told her about the work of the ESU Ukraine, my studies at the faculty of foreign languages at the KSPU and my participation in the National Public Speaking Competition.
The International Public Speaking Competition started on Thursday 12 May 2016 and included three stages: Heats, Semi-Final and the Grand Final. During the Heats 48 participants from 45 countries presented their speeches on the topic “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking that they do not have any”. They interpreted the theme in any way they saw it. Their performances were followed by a set of questions from the audience and adjudicators.
The results were announced on 13 May, which was a historical day for Ukraine as it was the first time our country proceeded to the stage of the Semi-Final! At the Semi-Final 18 participants, including me, presented an impromptu speech. Each semi-finalist had 3 topics to choose from and only 15 minutes to prepare the speech. It was a challenging task for everyone!
Six participants, representing Poland, Ghana, Mexico, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and India came to the Final. During the Final they delivered their speeches on the topic “Integrity has no need of rules”. The Grand Final took place in the afternoon of Friday 13 May at the headquarters of Chelsea Football Club. The judging panel, chaired by Baroness D'Souza, the Lord Speaker, had a tough job in selecting a winner but eventually awarded Vivian Garciacano from Mexico the prize of the winner and Marco Del Valle from the Philippines as the runner-up.
The IPSC expands the knowledge of the world, widens the outlook on many cross-cultural issues and gives the platform for young people from all over the globe to exchange views on a wide range of contemporary topics through the use of the English language. And consequently, it serves to increase international understanding, global awareness and friendship.
It is extremely important for young Ukrainians to form and express their personal opinion, as I am sure that words have great influence on the world and society. And I feel privileged and happy, that participation in this fantastic event enabled me to speak on behalf of Ukraine to the rest of the world. An amazing experience at the IPSC helped me to develop communication and leadership skills, to realize my potential and to expand the knowledge of the world.
I would like to express my thanks to the ESU Ukraine for their activities, which empower, enrich and encourage young people.
Anna Tsymbalist, the winner of NPSC 2016, a semi-finalist of IPSC 2016, a second year student, Faculty of Foreign Language, KSPU.