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Exceptional talent shines at CIE the English Public Speaking Contest 2024

03 JUN 2024

The College of International Education (CIE), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) recently hosted its seventh annual English Public Speaking Contest on 24 May 2024, showcasing the talent and eloquence of participants from Hong Kong local secondary schools. The Grand Final of the contest featured a diverse group of 12 speakers, selected from a pool of 162 participants representing 65 secondary schools, as they competed for six awards: Champion, 1st Runner-Up, 2nd Runner-Up, two Merits, and an Audience Award for Best Speaker. After delivering powerful and engaging performances, Ms. Sutradhar Tapasa from Ho Lap College (sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen), emerged as the deserving recipient of the coveted Champion Award.


The aim of the CIE English Speaking Contest is to enhance students’ public speaking techniques and proficiency in English communication. The Grand Final panel of judges included, Dr. Benjamin Moorhouse, Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Studies at HKBU, Ms. Allison Leger, Lecturer of Complementary Studies at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and Dr. Theresa Cunanan, Associate Programme Director of the Division of Arts and Languages, HKBU CIE. Finalists were tasked with delivering a 3-minute speech on the topic of “Vision”, followed by a 2-minute impromptu speech in response to a random question. Contestants covered a wide range of topics in their speeches, such as dreams, personal growth, and societal issues. They also exhibited strong impromptu speaking skills, revealing their agility of thought, spontaneity, and genuine feelings.


While complimenting the excellent performances of the contestants, Dr. Moorhouse highlighted the value of public speaking for the students in the long run, as he considers it an essential skill that they need to acquire for their future developments. Ms. Leger enlightened the audience with three helpful tips that will bring an individual’s public speaking to another level, which include: telling stories or examples, being natural, and giving vivid descriptions. Dr. Theresa Cunanan reminded the audience the ‘3 Ps’ of public speaking: Pitch, Pacing, and Pauses. In the age of AI, she believes it is more important than ever that we uphold the human touch when presenters speak publicly. The non-verbal communication skills, the ability to compose oneself on stage, and the power to make silence speaks to take the moment are the vital tools.


The Champion, Ms. Sutradhar Tapasa, acknowledged the challenging nature of the competition but appreciated the opportunity to engage with fellow contestants. The first runner-up and winner of the Audience Award for Best Speaker, Ms. Leung Sum Ying, emphasised the importance of preparation, including listening to Ted Talks for inspiration and building confidence by visualising herself presenting to an audience. Ms. Tapasa and Ms. Leung both expressed their gratitude to their school and families for their unwavering support. Last but not least, they shared valuable advice for aspiring participants, which is to embrace the journey of speech and seek to learn from each experience, and consider the perspective of the audience by using imagination.


Full list of Award Winners:




Ms. Sutradhar Tapasa from Ho Lap College (Sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen)

1st Runner-Up & Audience Award for Best Speaker

Ms. Leung Sum Ying from Pope Paul VI College

2nd Runner-Up

Ms. Cheng Chui Shan Sharon from Tuen Mun Government Secondary School


Mr. Yang Chak Kei from Tak Sun Secondary School

Ms. Bruton Mya from SKH Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School


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