Orator's Trophy 2016
Orator’s Trophy is a national oratorical competition that is held annually by Anglo-Chinese Junior College, as a West Zone Centre of Excellence in Language Arts initiative. Since its inception in 2009, the competition has remained a key event in the public speaking calendar because of the integral role it plays in providing a challenging yet supportive environment for young speakers to hone their public speaking skills in. The competition’s objectives remain the same – to promote public speaking as an important social and academic skill and to encourage the creative and persuasive use of the English language.
This year’s edition of Orator’s Trophy on 20 February, saw participants from 52 different secondary schools. The competition consisted of two preliminary rounds, the semi-finals and the finals. Participants had to craft speeches within a tight five-minute preparation time on a myriad of different topics some of which revolved around their personal identity, and some of which were responses to quotes from world leaders.
Our Principal, Ms Chong with the Champion and Runner-Up
What stood out most about this year’s competition, however, was the finals topics which all consisted of pop-culture references. During the finals, there were six talented competitors who had the option of crafting a speech based on a quote from the well-loved Star Wars character, Han Solo, a quote from one of the books of the popular novelist, John Green, or a quote from the Marvel Comic supervillain, Doctor Doom. This unorthodox choice of topics, albeit challenging, allowed the competitors to truly stretch their imagination and the audience was certainly entertained with the unique interpretations that each speaker had. While first runner up Justine Light Pre De Guzman from Mayflower Secondary School and Nur Aisha Bte Johari from Pioneer Secondary gave a strong performance in the finals, it was Malavika Pradeep from Commonwealth Secondary School who was eventually crowned the Orator’s Trophy 2016 champion. Her speech, based on the novelist John Green’s quote “The future will erase everything”, was a good reminder for one and all that while everything might change in the future, values will forever remain constant and timeless, a message that indeed resonated with many.
The future will erase everything
The Anglo-Chinese Junior College Debate and Oratorical Society would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our winners and to thank all participating schools. While some left with trophies and others did not, the spirit of the event has always been to encourage and to empower each individual who participates to find their own voice, to speak on behalf of the marginalized, and to give voice to issues that matter– an aim that the 2016 edition certainly fulfilled. Orator’s Trophy has been and will continue to be a key event in the shaping of Singapore’s next generation of public speakers.