Online contest chance for SMK Batu Lintang students to show public speaking, leadership skills

Forty-five students and teachers of SMK Batu Lintang attended the Impromptu Speech Competition 2021 which was held via Zoom.

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KUCHING, July 4: Despite the challenges posed by various movement restriction orders since early last year, both students and teachers at SMK Batu Lintang here are finding ways to adapt to carry on with normal activities as much as possible, albeit online instead of in person.

The school’s English Club and English Language Department recently organised the school-level Impromptu Speech Competition online for the consecutive second year.

The school’s English language teacher, Ho Jia Yiing, who is also a Distinguished Toastmaster lauded the students for stepping up to the plate to volunteer their time and skills to make the contest a success, not just as competitors, but also as part of the organising body and as role players.

Ho said it was an opportunity for the students to apply leadership and communication skills in a real life context and they rose to the challenge wholeheartedly and exceeded her expectations.

“Toastmasters aims at developing one’s communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth. I witnessed our student-leaders coordinating the online contest professionally, from creating promotional posters, hosting the Zoom session, emceeing, being the time keeper, creating certificates, and generating the final scores from the judges.”

In her welcoming speech, Organising Chairperson Clarice Chong, a Form 4 student, pointed out: “Public speaking is an essential part of most jobs and at some point, all of us will have to give a speech in public to inform, to persuade or to inspire others.”

Esther Shim Shi Ying from Form 4 Cekap emerged as champion with her given impromptu topic “Here today, gone tomorrow”, where she shared about the sudden loss of her late grandfather in 2020. Her sincere and heartfelt sharing won her the Audience Favourite Award in the Upper Secondary category.

The first runner-up was Isabel Hong Yi Han (Form 3 Setia) who received the impromptu topic “Things That Amaze Me” and the second runner-up was Nur’Ain Jamilah Md Nasrudin (Form 3 Setia) who was given the impromptu topic “Colour Affects the Way People Feel”.

Meanwhile, Jordan Tan Zi Xian won the Audience Favourite Award in the Lower Secondary category.

From left: Shim, Hong and Nur’Ain Jamilah.

Twelve students from Form 1 till Form 5 participated in the competition with many more tuning in to watch the live session.

Invited judge Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Donna Barclay provided constructive feedback to the contestants and students including techniques of starting an impactful opening, ways of maintaining eye contact with the audience and the power of adding humour in a speech.

Teacher Ho highlighted that the student competitors, participants and audience had benefited directly and indirectly from the competition.

She highlighted that Zoom Master Joel Pang Kai Chen (Form 5 Setia) had observed the competition and used the pointers he picked up to help him win the Best Presenter Award for the International Research Invention Innovation and Exhibition (i-RIE) 2021 which was held the day following the competition.

Also present at the impromptu speech contest were SMK Batu Lintang’s Assistant Principal Hellon Png, Head of English Panel Wong Leh Hong, and English teachers Elizabeth Poh, Lydia Isut and April. — DayakDaily