Young Post Op-Ed writer Edward Mak Fai-ming won first place at the HKFYG Standard Chartered English Public Speaking Competition. The Grand Finals of this year's contest took place on Saturday, February 28.
In the Senior Division, candidates Edward Mak (King George V School), Sarika Mahbubani (Renaissance College), Marcus Chow (La Salle College), Doris Mok Ka-chun (St Paul’s Co-Educational College) and Vicky Fung (Heep Yun College) battled it out. They were asked to speak about soaring house prices that have led to students applying for public housing - even though others might need it more.
Each candidate came to their own unique conclusion on the topic, adding perspective to the issue. The large panel of judges ranging from CEOs to Consulate Generals were impressed with the beliefs brought forth by the young speakers.
The event came to an end with Vicky and Doris placing as Merit Awardees, Marcus as second runner-up, and Sarika as first runner-up. The big prize went to Edward, Year 12 student and Op-Ed writer for Young Post.
"Although the success feels great, the best part of public speaking is learning from every opportunity, regardless of whether it is a success or failure," said Edward. "I think joy comes not from winning itself, but rather the process of speaking to others and sharing ideas with them."
Form Five student Marcus Chow was proud of his finish, too.
"I have been taking part in this competition for the past four years, but every time, my journey would end at the Semi-Finals. This is the main driving force for me to join the competition every year, hoping that I could enter the Grand Finals."
Indeed, making it this far out of more than 1,600 participants is a huge achievement, reflective of the hard work the students have put into their craft.
Edward has this piece of advice for anybody thinking about joining the competition. “Try, try and try again, and never give up! I cannot stress how important this is: success doesn't come naturally to anyone; it comes chasing after those who work hard and put effort in what they do!”
Since its launch in 2004, the Standard Chartered English Public Speaking Competition has been widely supported by more than 400 secondary schools across Hong Kong with a total of more than 17,000 participants. This year, 1,689 students from 162 local secondary schools took part, making it the biggest public speaking contest in Hong Kong.