The competition is aimed at students at secondary school who want to improve their speaking and presentation skills and their ability to think analytically on their feet while enhancing their speech writing skills. The competition also helps to develop confidence in its participants.

The first round of the competition will take place on 7th March 2021 at the main hall of Cyprian Ekwensi Art and Culture Area 10, Abuja. And registration is open from January 21st to February 21st.

Please click on the “Register Now” button below to register and read details about the competition below.

The topic of the Competition is:




The registration form should contain the students’ school, names, ages, class, and Parent / Guardian’s details.

Only ten (10) students per school are eligible to enter the competition. And participants must be students in Junior Secondary School and ss1 students not above 15years. And in case there are more than 10 students that wish to participate in a school heat must be organised to select only 10 students to participate in the competition.

Participants must write and deliver a speech, the title and content of which are connected with the topic for the competition. Participants may interpret the topic in any way they wish, but may not use the topic as the title of their speech. While the topic represents the SDG Goal 4 it is mandatory to have read the goal to participate in the competition or link the speech to the goal.

Participants speak in a random order (determined by organisers).

Participants deliver a Five‐minute prepared speech (which must be connected with the theme for the competition).


Schools are kindly asked to also nominate a teacher to be part of the adjudication panel.



Speakers should consider the following when choosing a topic:

Am I interested in the topic? – Speakers should never write a speech on a topic or subject area that they are not interested in. Enthusiasm is difficult to fabricate and without it speakers can’t hope to maximise their marks under Expression and Delivery.

Will my topic capture the interest of the audience? – The audience and the adjudicators do not necessarily have to be interested in the speaker’s topic to be persuaded by the speech. Speakers should try to make their speech more engaging by demonstrating the relevance of their arguments to the audience and the adjudicators

Will I be able to discuss my topic in the limited time available? – Some topics or subject areas are particularly obscure or otherwise unfamiliar and would require a significant amount of explanation to make the information accessible to the audience and the adjudicators. Any background, contextual or technical information required should not take up more than a few sentences of the speech. If such information requires elaborate explanation, speakers should consider refining their topic.

Expression and Delivery: What is the purpose of the speech? In a competitive context, speakers should always approach their task of speech writing with a clear purpose in mind. Good speeches should attempt to do all four – persuade, inform, inspire and entertain the audience and the adjudicators.

Make an impact from the start! First impressions are important. The audience and the adjudicators are at their most attentive at the very beginning of the speech. It is crucial to grab their attention from the very start with a confident and flawless opening.

Similar emphasis should be put on the conclusion of the speech. It should link back to the opening of the speech (e.g. the problems that were identified, the questions that were posed etc.).

Verbal skills: Speakers should remember that delivering a speech is not like reading an essay. When giving a public speech, it is imperative that speakers speak slowly, clearly and loudly. This will help to ensure that the audience and the adjudicators hear every word, and can comprehend what is being said as they are listening. Speakers should also attempt to vary their pitch and tone of voice, as well as the pace of their speech (where appropriate). These variations help to keep the audience and the adjudicators alert, and help the speaker to maintain their attention for the full five minutes of the speech.

Non‐verbal skills: Much of a speaker’s communication is non-verbal. For that reason, public speakers must be conscious of their body language if they are to engage the audience and the adjudicators. ‘Open’ gestures (which help to engage the audience) include facing the audience and using hands and arms freely to demonstrate, emphasise or otherwise support the words being spoken. By contrast, ‘closed’ gestures (which often disengage the audience) include the speaker folding their arms, facing away from the audience or hanging their head.

Confidence and style: Confidence and style are at the core of effective expression and delivery. The following are a few additional tips to enhance confidence and style: speakers should (1) know the opening lines of their speech off by heart, (2) take a few deep breaths before they speak, (3) avoid wearing uncomfortable or distracting clothing or jewellery, (4) take a drink of water before they start to speak and have a bottle of water with them during their speech and (5) remain calm if they slip or stumble over a word or lose their position in their speech – pause, take a drink of water and continue.

 A note on notes: Rather than writing out their speech in full and learning it by heart, speakers are advised only to write out the structure of their speech. Speakers should know their introduction to a conclusion very well (i.e. learnt by heart), and should know the progression of the points in the main body of the speech well.

Organisation and Prioritisation: Why structure is important an audience is made up of people. An adjudication panel is made up of people. Most people have relatively short attention spans. For that reason, if a speaker stands up, starts speaking and continues to speak constantly for five minutes, most people (including audiences and adjudicators) will tune out after about 2 minutes. Public speakers’ use structure to help maintain their listeners’ attention.

The outline of a typical speech Introduction – The speaker should tell the audience who they are, what they are speaking about, why, and what they want to have achieved or proven by the end of the speech. A map of the main points in the speech should be provided. Each point should be given a label (see above) and perhaps a brief explanation of what will be analysed.

Main Arguments – The speaker should then move onto to the main points of the speech, remembering to deal with each point in order of priority (in the same order they were listed in the introduction), and remembering to signal to the audience when they are moving from one point to the next (this is signposting or flagging).

Conclusion – The speaker should tie together all the main points of the speech at the end, remembering to refer back to the introduction (in particular, to any specific targets or goals that the speaker intended to achieve or prove). The conclusion should not be a simple re-statement of the speech; rather, it should be a comprehensive but succinct summary of all the main strands of the speech in support of the overall thesis of the speech.

N/B: The outline described above is just one way of structuring a speech. Speakers will not lose marks under Organisation or Prioritisation just because they structure their speech or organise their points in a slightly different manner to the one presented above.

Listening and Response and Answering Questions: The question period after the speech is designed is to test the speaker’s knowledge of the surrounding issues as well as their ability to listen and respond to questions, justifying the position they have taken in their speech.

When answering questions, speakers should avoid re-stating sections of their speech verbatim. The question period is a great opportunity for speakers to demonstrate extra knowledge (perhaps an extra piece of evidence that there wasn’t room to include in the speech). However, answers should always be relevant to the question asked and ultimately support the position.