Today, is another great day!
I was judging at National University of Singapore’s (NUS), Persatuan Bahasa Melayu Universiti Kebangsaan Singapura (PBMUKS) ‘Cakap Petah’ competition together with Haryani Othman (local celebrity) and Guy Ghazali (lawyer).
‘Cakap Petah’ competition is a Public Speaking competition with a unique format.
Students are first given a theme to talk about for 3 minutes. This is given prior to the competition and students are given a week to prepare for this, after their workshop (which I had conducted).
The theme for this year was ‘C.I.T.A’, Capai Impian Tinggi Angkasa. A literal translation in English would be ‘Reach For Your Dreams As High As Outerspace’. Sounds quite fun to have it translated, literally.
Having completed their 3 minutes speech, participants are then asked to select a card which includes a Proverb or ‘Peribahasa’. They are then given a minute to think through about the meaning and how it relates to their dreams before coming back out again to deliver their 1 minute speech.
So, having said that, there were 9 schools competing this morning.
It was very exciting to watch the students take to the stage to deliver their 3 minute speech. There were a few really outstanding orators and there were also a few who were extremely nervous. Well, that would be expected, especially if it was your first time on stage delivering a speech and facing a large audience.
I remember the first time I stepped up on stage to perform was when I was in K2 taking on the role of ‘The Big Bad Wolf’. The next time I got up on stage was to sing a Mandarin song with the rest of my classmates in Primary 2. I remember these events very clearly as they are memorable to me.
My mom had sewn my Big Bad Wolf costume from scratch, complete with the tail. Thank god for having a mom who’s a seamstress!
And how could anyone forget singing a Mandarin song on stage?
BUT the first time I faced the audience for the first time in my life to orate as an individual, was when I was in Primary 4 in a story-telling competition.
I remember I told the story of Rabbit and the Hare and had came in first place. How I had rehearsed almost every single night to memorize the story and also how to move about to bring my story to life, just like how some of the participants this morning had done so.
WHICH IS WHY, I AM EXTREMELY PROUD OF EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!
The competition only allowed 3 winners and had there been another option, I would have wanted to give prizes for a few categories:
- Most Props
- Most Entertaining
- Most Nervous
- Most Awkward
- Most Demure
- Most Convicing
I could have easily given away those titles to every single one of them.
You don’t need to win an overall championship trophy, you just need to win something and it’s all in the name of fun and building up their self-confidence.
Perhaps, the organisers for the next ‘Cakap Petah’ might want to consider giving more prizes and changing the format to make it less stressful for the participants, we could have more entertainment prizes to be given away.
At the end of the day, I’m just passionate about kids and as how I teach in class, I like to be encouraging and motivating, and will try to find as many ways as possible to ensure everyone feels important and valued.
They just need that morale boost to know they have what it takes to do well in life 🙂
On a side-note, if your school/organisation is looking for Developmental/Cultural Programmes, you can contact me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org. My company, By Definition Pte Ltd, conducts Developmental and Malay Cultural programmes to schools.
And if you are interested in something more Academic or Sports, do contact me at email@example.com. My other company, Singa-sports Academy conducts Academic and Sports Mentoring programme. We have also been featured in BeritaonSuria and Berita Harian.