Nigeria’s foremost public speaking institute, School of Eloquence is set to hold the 4th edition of its Eloquence Cup competition between seven Lagos-based public secondary schools on November 26, 2022.
This year’s public speaking contest which is scheduled to take place at the school’s premises at 36B, Royal Palm Drive, Osborne Phase 2 Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, will feature students of senior secondary schools in the state.
The contestants will be seeking to claim glory for their respective schools and win prizes for themselves
as they speak on the topic: “The Nigerian Youths and the ‘JAPA’ Syndrome – What is the Way Forward?”
The school’s registrar, Patience Essien, said that the school’s founder and Dean, Ubong Essien was inspired to start the competition through its “Catching Them Young” Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, after discovering that teaching the younger generation communication skills will help improve society.
According to her, the School of Eloquence alums visit public schools to create awareness about eloquence at an early age, teach them the art of public speaking and let them know how important it is. At the end of the year, the students then converge to display what they have learned and how well they can perform in the art of public speaking during the competition.
Commenting further on the competition, she said: “The Eloquence Cup is a public speaking challenge between students in government-owned secondary schools. The students are assigned a topic of general interest upon which they are to speak before an audience which includes, students and teachers of competing schools, alums from the School of Eloquence, the School’s Board members and other members of the society.
“The winning school takes the trophy, and we also have prizes for the participating individual students that excel in the competition, from laptops to tablets to cash. The maiden edition was won by King’s College in 2017, while Queens College won the last edition in 2021.
“It has been a fascinating journey because when you see this younger generation in action and speaking on topics of national importance, you will appreciate how knowledgeable the students are and the bright future that awaits them
” Contestants will be drawn from Queens College (Defending Champions);Kings College. ;Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege;St. Gregory’s College; State Senior High School, Agege; CMS Grammar School and St. Finbarr’s College, Yaba.”
The registrar enthused that this year’s contest is expected to be better than previous editions with new schools added to make the competition keener; and that the competition will continue to make more positive impact in the lives of the participants.
While explaining that the early embrace of public speaking can aid the advancement of one’s career development, she highlighted that the School of Eloquence teaches how to comport oneself in public, overcome stage fright to face any audience and deliver impactful messages and presentations.
According to her, the notion that public speaking is a skill that one is only born with is wrong. She pointed out that it can be learned, which is why the School of Eloquence exists, adding that once you know the methodology, you will be able to stand up and speak anywhere.
“Public speaking is seen as a superior skill because with it, no matter your profession, you can sell yourself and compel your audience. And you find out that some people, even if they don’t know much, because they are eloquent, are the ones that the public will identify with and recognise. If the skill is learnt early in life, the students will grow up with the self-confidence needed to pitch their ideas during job interviews and other opportunities to get ahead.
“Public speaking defines a man because people measure you by your words; you might have all the knowledge in the world, but it is wasted if you are unable to present it. Hence, public speaking will help enhance your career. You might not be the best in your profession, but with public speaking and the confidence that comes with it, you will be reputable”, she said.
The School of Eloquence was established in 2006 by West Africa’s first Certified Speaking Professional, Ubong Essien, to teach Nigerians effective public speaking and good presentation skills.
Since inception, it has helped thousands of leaders and professionals from all walks of life find their voices and become influential public speakers in their respective domains. The school has trained people from all settings and organisations, private and public, as well as executives and business owners.