Cardiff hosts UK’s first public speaking competition

27 March 2017

The winners and judges celebrate at the Public Speaking Competition.
The winners and judges celebrate at the Public Speaking Competition.

Students from across the country came together this month for the inaugural UK Joint Public Speaking Competition.

The event, which took place in Cardiff’s Glamorgan Building, was organised by Law and Politics student, Natasha Hole who is Public Speaking Officer for the School’s Law Society.

Natasha wished to connect like-minded students who have a passion for public speaking and create a platform that allowed participants to showcase their growing confidence in public speaking; a task that many find difficult and daunting!

The competition was open to undergraduate and postgraduate students and was attended by participants hailing from as far afield as Warwick, Birmingham and Swansea.

The judging team consisted of Liz Maher, Director of Centurion VAT Specialists Ltd and President of Cardiff Capital City Region Chamber Council, Bindu Cardoza MSc, Founder of Jascarm International, Motivational Speaker and Vice-President of Cardiff Toastmasters and Simon McCann, Partner at Blake Morgan LLP Solicitors.

Speech topics were diverse and ranged from the heart felt to the humorous with many a mention of Donald Trump! Participants were required to speak on a topic of their choice for the first round followed by a ‘random round’ where speakers were given envelopes which contained nominated topics such as ‘How does social media effect our future generations?’  and ‘Discuss some unique and bizarre British habits…’

After much deliberation, Oluwa Akerele of Warwick University was awarded first prize in the competition for her speech, 'The Silent Observer' which talked about listening and observing and how these skills can be your most powerful tools in life. She was followed by Arushi Madan from Birmingham University who scooped the second prize and Rachel Hondora from Cardiff University who came in at third.

Organiser Natasha said, “I sincerely hope that successors, from universities around the UK, will continue to work jointly and turn this into an annual public speaking competition.”

Dr Russell Sandberg, Head of Law, commented, "It was a pleasure to host this innovative event at Cardiff and to hear such excellent speeches: some were humorous, some were heartbreaking and all were very well delivered. Thanks to the judges for their time and to Natasha and the student-run Law Society for their exceptional work in organising this."