“To make youths of today aware of the social issues affecting the nation.”
This was the noble vision with which Singapore Can Speak (SCS) was started. SCS hopes to enable youths that are afraid to speak up and voice their views, by letting them face their fear through public speaking.
Embarking on a nationwide campaign with a theme of “Making Poverty History, SCS aims to equip youths with public speaking skills so that they can champion a social cause, SCS wants the youths of Singapore to speak up, share their ideas with the audience and more importantly, make it happen.
With this aim, SCS decided to hold a contest to choose a Youth Ambassador who has the eloquence to lead and social consciousness to effect change; and reached out to over 150,000 young Singaporeans through various means, including newspapers, television programmes and road-shows.
The person selected as ‘Youth Ambassador’, besides being crowned “Singapore Top Speaker 2010”, stands to win a SCS 2010 champion trophy, along with a cash prize of $2000 and a one-year sponsorship by SCS (to be groomed and given speaking opportunities with schools and public events).
And of the many who participated in the entry round of the contest, 16 were short-listed for the preliminary round.
Parveen Kaur one of the 16 people short-listed for this round, was visibly nervous as she started, but showed much courage in finishing the speech well. She later shared with the judges that there were many points she wanted to make but that her nerves got the better of her.
The 16 contestants tried to distinguish themselves from each other by using different methods to make their point. Some did story-telling, others analogies, and yet others, rapport-building.
One contestant, Yeo Shang Xuan, even used a song segment of Michael Jackson’s “You are the world”, to open and close his speech.
It was quite obvious that the contestants, who had observed poverty either in a third-world country or in Singapore, had an advantage over those that had not.
The judges finally selected 12 contestants from the 16, to move to the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinalists being Muthhukumar Palaniyappan, Aslam Shah B Iskhandar Shah, Benjamin Loh Chiang Lai, Benjamin Wong Yew Meng, Crystal Loke Yeen Sin, Darrell Choong, Drumil Parekh, Lim Hui Wen Evelyn, Lavan Vickneson, Parveen Kaur D/O Hardip Singh, Samridhi Lodha and Yeo Shang Xuan.
The quarterfinals will be held on 22 May 2010 at The Cathay and Finals will be on 5th June 2010 at the *SCAPE.
By Joyce Tan