Venue : Town Hall of the Municipal Council of Vacoas-Phoenix

Date : Friday 30th March 2018 @ 10:00 a.m.


WINNER Name:             DEVASON       Ashwarya Singh
School:    Queen Elizabeth College
RUNNER-UP Name:    FRANÇOIS   Mélanie Anne Habbie Gaëlle
School:    Maréchal College


The Public Speaking Competition is an annual educational programme organized by the English Speaking Union in over 50 branches across the world where ESU has established a presence.  Each branch sends its National Winner to London to compete in the International Public Speaking Competition held every year in the month of May.


The English-Speaking Union, Mauritius Branch, launched the Public Speaking Competition in 1994 with three objectives:


  • To provide students with an opportunity to develop the vital skills that enable them to speak with confidence in public.


  • To provide a focus for the learning of effective communication skills in English among young people


  • To give students the opportunity to meet, exchange and form friendship and understanding that will last a lifetime.


Every year, the Public Speaking Competition is sponsored by the HSBC Mauritius, the British Council and the Rotary Club Vacoas.   The Finals were held on Friday 30th March 2018 at the Town Hall of the Municipal Council of Vacoas-Phoenix.


The Public Speaking Competition acts as a platform for students to engage in an exchange of ideas and opinions, on a national and international scale.  It enhances the participants’ public speaking and critical thinking skills and places them in situations requiring them to make spontaneous responses.  Audibility, presence on the platform, spontaneity, rapport with the audience, a coherently presented argument and demonstration of the ability to think on one’s feet are all key elements in this competition.  



Some 150 participants take part in ESU competition every year.  However, a much larger number of students are involved in this activity as schools are encouraged to run an in-house competition to select their best speakers to take part in our competition.  ESU offers training to participants, both in Mauritius and in Rodrigues, to help them gain confidence on stage and improve their performance at the competition. 


At the qualifying heats, all participants – in all branches of the ESU – were asked to deliver a speech related to the international theme “Great artists have no country”.    Those who qualified for the semi-finals, held on Thursday 15th March 2018, were required to deliver an impromptu speech on a choice of 3 topics given to them 15 minutes in advance. 


This year’s National theme for the Finals was The best way to predict the future is to invent it”, a theme chosen by ESU headquarters for all ESU branches.


Our ten Finalists (including one from Rodrigues) delivered their speeches to an important audience, comprising H.E. Mr Barlen Vyapoory, Acting President of Mauritius, and other dignitaries.


Mr Chris Murray, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Mauritius, Mr Tris Bartlett, Director of the British Council and Prof Serge Rivière, Vice-President of ESU-Mauritius, were on the adjudicating panel to select a Winner and a Runner-Up.


Our National winner will have the opportunity to showcase his/her public speaking skills in an international competitive arena from 14th to 18th May 2018.  The International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC), now in its 38th year, is the largest public speaking tournament in the world.  Administered by the International department of ESU in London, this competition involves 600,000 participants in over 50 countries where ESU is established.  It represents one of the clearest manifestations of the goals of the ESU.   Not only does this competition develop the vital skills of participants that enable them to speak with confidence in public, but students from around the world have the opportunity to meet, engage and form friendships and understanding that will last a lifetime.


As part of the five-day programme in London, participants will receive training in public speaking and debating skills from world class ESU mentors.  Training in expression, delivery, listening and response skills are designed to improve the participants’ delivery of their prepared speeches and their ability to listen and respond to questions.  Training in organization and prioritization of arguments, reasoning and analysis, as well as critical thinking skills are designed to improve the participants’ ability to write and deliver an impromptu speech.    The aim is to enhance the participants’ expressive and persuasive abilities as well as their improvisation skills and confidence generally.  In addition, the programme includes visits to the Houses of Parliament, BBC TV studios, Hampton Court Palace, a trip to the theatre and more…


The culmination of this worldwide event is the Grand Finals which will be held on Friday 18th May 2018 at the Royal Institute of Great Britain in Mayfair.   ESU headquarters will be streaming the Finals on their facebook page from around 2pm UK time on Friday 18th May.  


In 2009, the representative of ESU-Mauritius, Mr Sebastien Ng Kuet Leong, won the International Public Speaking Competition.   This was the very first time a Mauritian had won this prestigious International competition, and it was widely acclaimed as a matter of national pride in the field of education with particular emphasis on the use of the English language in Mauritius. 



The Finalists for 2018






Dr. Maurice Cure State College SALEHMOHAMED Sharmeen Banu Javid Inventing the future: A matter of perception


Loreto College Quatre Bornes  GEERJANAN Kayseka Today meets tomorrow


Mahatma Gandhi Institute Secondary School CHUMMUN Sonia We have, we are, we will


Maréchal College FRANÇOIS Mélanie Anne Habbie Gaëlle Inventing the future for a better world


Morning Star School FRIZROY Oliver Thomas A better tomorrow


Queen Elizabeth College DEVASON Ashwarya Singh The future of inventions


Queen Elizabeth College CHUTOO Zakeeyah Bibi Tomorrow is composed of “nows”


Royal College Curepipe MALLAM-HASSAM Irfan Arif What’s your 9.58?


Royal College Port-Louis RAMEN Sakthivelan Our Destiny


Sodnac State Secondary School CADERSA Bibi Muneera “Imagine”