On March 1 the 6th National Public Speaking Competition was held at Tallinn English College. 45 participants from 31 different schools of Estonia and about 80 supporters and guests came to enjoy the speeches.
Chris Holtby, HM Ambassador and the Chair of the Panel of Judges welcomed the audience. In the first round the participants had to deliver their 5-minute speeches on one of the seven themes announced in November 2013. Then they had 4 minutes to answer questions from the judges and the audience. The judges had to choose the three best speakers of a heat.
In the second round, the semi-final, the 12 heat winners had to prepare a 3-minute speech on a topic they chose 15 minutes earlier as part of preparations for the semi-final. No Q&A session followed this round. The semi-finalists were:
- Peep Põdder, Tallinn School No. 21;
- Vikki Perijainen, Tallinn English College;
- Johanna-Kadri Kuusk, Tallinn Jakob Westholm Gymnasium;
- Herman Õunapuu, Gustav Adolf Grammar School;
- Darja Ivanova, Tallinn High School of Humanities;
- Julia Andrejeva, Jõhvi Russian Gymnasium;
- Indrek Pertman, Tallinn Kuristiku Gymnasium;
- Mari Marta Makarov, Viimsi Secondary School;
- Tarvo Erimäe, Audentes Sports Gymnasium;
- Robert Kuuba, Võru Kreutzwald Gymnasium;
- Hanna Rimm, Tallinn Science School;
- Gertrud Metsa, Hugo Treffner Gymnasium.
The six finalists, who won the semi-final and competed in the Final, are: Tarvo Erimäe, Indrek Pertman, Gertrud Metsa, Vikki Perijainen, Peep Põdder and Herman Õunapuu.
The Panel of Judges for the Final:
- Chris Holby, HM Ambassador, ESU Estonia Honorary Member;
- Chever Voltmer, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy;
- Suliko Liiv, Professor, Tallinn University, ESU Estonia member;
- Margarita Eero, Teacher, Tallinn Kuristiku Gymnasium, Head of Tallinn City English Department, ESU Estonia member;
- Phillip Marsdale, International Language Services, ESU Estonia member.
According to their decision the best speakers of the National Final 2014 were:
Winner: Vikki Perijainen, Tallinn English College;
1st runner-up: Indrek Pertman, Tallinn Kuristiku Gymnasium;
2nd runner-up: Herman Õunapuu, Gustav Adolf Grammar School.
Vikki will represent Estonia at the International Public Speaking Competition 2014 in London in May, where she will deliver a speech on the theme “Imagination is More Important than Knowledge”.
While the judges deliberated, the audience also chose Vikki Perijainen as their favorite speaker.
Congratulations to all the winners!
We are very grateful to all our supporters: US Embassy, UK Embassy, British Council, Ministry of Education, Tallinn City Government, Tallinn City Council, English College, ILS OÜ, Tallinn Teachers’ House, Dialoog AS and Oxford University Press for the Baltics.
– Zinaida Jevgrafova, Chairman of the ESU of Estonia, Convenor of the NPSC
You can find photos of the event on our Facebook page and are welcome to share your impressions and thoughts on the competition. Here is what some of our supporters and participants had to say:
Tiiu Vitsut, U.S. Embassy Tallinn: Again, it was an exciting and rewarding experience. The same topic interpreted by all the winners – this speaks volumes of their generation.
Shannon Henriksen, ILS OÜ: I was very impressed with the confidence and knowledge of the participants.
Karina Matjuhhina, Ahtme Gymnasium: I’ve had an unforgettable experience participating in NPSC 2014. The most important thing is that my English has considerably progressed for the months of preparation. All the participants performed impressively and it was truly enjoyable to watch my rivals` speeches… I have no doubt that I`ll be participating next year again.
Tarvo Erimäe, Audentes Sports Gymnasium, finalist: First of all I would like to thank the organizers for the wonderful experience I gained from the event. The speech rounds went smoothly and the people were all friendly and helpful. A well built structure of the whole day. I hope to participate again next year and meet even more interesting people.
Peep Põdder, Tallinn School No. 21, finalist: I took part in the 2014 National Public Speaking Competition and for the most part it was an awesome experience. I had a chance to put my language and oratory skills to the test in front of judges from the UK, USA and Australia. However, the greatest thing that this venture gave me was the understanding that I love being on stage and that my opinions and ideas are worthy of being heard. Almost all of the contestants were kind and the miasma that I expected going in turned out to be a surprisingly cozy atmosphere. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take part in this competition – to abandon all fear, close your eyes and just leap into the unknown! You may not win, but you will emerge a stronger, more self-confident person.
As for words of advice:
1) If given a choice, pick a topic that you feel has not been touched upon enough.
2) Speak from the heart! This means that you should forget about merely choosing to speak about something that you THINK will guarantee you a win; rather, speak about something that YOU feel is important. Thus you will have more fun and also have a higher chance to win thanks to sounding much more sincere.
3) Make a joke or two in your speech!