Judging Cakap Petah 2013

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).

A week before competition

A week before competition

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.


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
  • Best-Dressed
  • 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, abdillah@bydefinition.net. 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 abdillah@singa-sports.com. My other company, Singa-sports Academy conducts Academic and Sports Mentoring programme. We have also been featured in BeritaonSuria and Berita Harian.

My Special Speech & Drama Class

This week, or rather, the past two days has definitely been enlightening for me.

It was The Security Guard yesterday and today, I had a very special boy in my Speech & Drama class.

I’ve been teaching Speech & Drama for about half a decade now (quite a feat I must say considering I jumped into this industry head first) and I’ve had great experiences all around throughout the entire time I’ve been doing this. During these years that I’ve  been teaching kids and training adults who join the industry, it never crossed my mind that some kids might have missed out on this opportunity to be involved in Speech & Drama programmes.

Today, I surprised myself when I volunteered to pick a class and then stepped in to realise that I had someone very special in my class.

This would be the first ever I have taught.


At no point in my Speech & Drama career have I encountered such a situation nor had I ever been told about such an experience by other trainers whom I worked with.

Normal experiences would be usually be individuals with ADHD and recently, a new condition which I’m trying to figure out whereby someone would just literally, FREEZE (If you have any information on this, do email me at whatsabd@gmail.com)

Today marks a new experience in my life of teaching.

I wasn’t sure of what to do initially but decided to go “Naahhh… let me just teach as per normal”

And NORMAL he was!

He participated in EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY that I conducted!

From introductions to movements of the body, he did EVERY SINGLE ONE!

And he impressed me with his spirit and enthusiasm!

AND best of all, there were times during my class when he stepped up to take on a more leadership position to request his classmates to cooperate with me as they were getting out of hand. Everyone else in the class didn’t seem to care either that he was on a wheelchair. No discrimination either 🙂

This is definitely MY SPECIAL SPEECH & DRAMA CLASS and this just adds on to my list of experiences that I can share with my trainers and students!

And tomorrow, I look forward to my experience judging at ‘Cakap Petah’ competition organised by NUS PBMUKS held at Bukit Merah Library from 1000hrs to 1400hrs.

Thereafter, I will be giving a talk in the evening on how to ‘Ace Your Presentations!’.

Do check out the FB Events page here.