Inter University Public Speaking Competition – OurWarwick
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Inter University Public Speaking Competition

Warwick’s Public Speaking Society hosted the Inter University Public Speaking Competition on the 24 of February. There were 5 different universities competing in the competition namely University of Warwick, University of Leicester, University of Birmingham, University of Coventry and lastly, University of Manchester. Each university were required to send 5 speakers, but some did not meet the requirement. Hence, we had 20 different speakers from 5 different universities competing for the top 3 spots.

 The competition was divided into 2 rounds. The first round is the prepared speech round. Each contestant is supposed to give a prepared speech for 3 to 5 minutes. The top 5 speakers from Round 1 will qualify for Round 2. Round 2 is the impromptu speech round. Basically, each speaker will be given a random topic in a form of question and they will be required to speak for 1 minute only (strictly). The top 3 speakers will be chosen based on their overall performance in both Round 1 & 2.


 So, I was one of the 5 representatives from Warwick University. I was super nervous on the day of the competition. I had just spent the previous day, modifying and editing my speech to make it shorter. I always have the tendency to over speak and breach the time restrictions. My speech was titled ‘Be The Miracle’. Fun fact: I wrote that speech a year ago for a Toastmasters session, but I did not get the opportunity to use it. The speech was inspired by a stand-up comedy of the late George Carlin. Easily one of my most favourite stand-up comedian. He made a great sketch about the ineffectiveness of prayer or rather, its absurdity. I took his content and modified it to build a more positive and rather inspiring element around it.

 So, as the competition begun, each speaker took to the stage to present their speech. I was speaker number 11. I prefer being the middle speaker, it gives me time to collect my confidence. Being the first few speakers always adds pressure for me. After Round 1, there was a short break. Then, it was time to announce the top 5 speakers. And yes, I managed to make it into the top 5. Phewww, now the pressure was paramount. In the 2 Round, I was given a pretty interesting question: Do celebrities get away with crime more than non-celebrities?

 Obviously, the answer is a yes. I spoke on that for a minute. Speaking about recent issues like the MeToo movement and how sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein were able to escape legal prosecution due to their celebrity status. Honestly speaking, round 2 was very evenly contested. All the speakers were excellent. Round 1 was also evenly contested. I am sure the margin of victory would be very close. So obviously, I was nervous when they announced the winners.

 Thankfully, I won first place in the Inter University Public Speaking Competition. I’m beyond humbled to have won it. I would like to thank the Warwick Public Speaking Society for giving me such a great opportunity. Special shout out to Chloe Gabriel for her relentless advice and guidance. Would not have been able to do it without her help. Obviously, I was very happy but the victory was sweeter because we were able to complete a double and more importantly, defend the title on our home ground.

 It was such a great experience. Every contest offers me an opportunity to improve myself. Most importantly, it gives me a chance to do what I love most, which is, speaking.

 This has been a pretty long blog post. I am glad that I can share this story with you. In Warwick University, you get the chance and the platform to do what you love and excel at it. I will always cherish this victory and it adds bright colours to my journey in University of Warwick. For that, I am always thankful.

Cheers, Sugheson


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