We were in for another treat when storytellers from different countries were brought in for this festival. The Kids Speakers had the opportunity to listen to a diversity of stories as well as appreciate the different ways the stories were delivered. Some of the story tellers we met were Wajuppa Tosa from Thailand and a Balinese team, Mada Garo and Gede Tarmada.
The first event was the annual district conference of the Toastmasters International (TI) organization. 12 selected Kids Speakers had the opportunity to meet some of the past winners of the TI World Championship of Public Speaking (WCPS). Shurooq Albanna, 3rd place winner in the 2013 WCPS and Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, a Sri Lankan and the first Asian to win the WCPS in 2014. They also met with Gerald Green, pioneer of the organization in Malaysia.
After the heady encounter with the past winners, the Kids Speakers then observed a speech contest from which a winner was selected to represent this region in the USA.
KUCHING: Twelve Kids Speakers here recently had the opportunity to meet 2014 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking Dananjaya Hettiarachchi.
Hettiarachchi, who is from Sri Lanka and the first Asian to win the championship, was here to speak at the Toastmasters International District 87 Conference.
He obliged the Kids Speakers with his autograph and the children also had the opportunity to chat with 2013 world championship third place winner Shurooq Albanna from Dubai.
They also attended the speech contests, which involved speakers from Brunei, Indonesia and East Malaysia.
“I learned that when giving a speech, I must be confident, fluent and knowledgeable … it also helps to keep your audience entertained when speaking,” said Charlotte Lau, 11.
Tania Toh, 12, called it an “awesome contest”, where she and her friends got to take selfies with Hettiarachchi and Albanna.
“We got their autographs, email and phone numbers. I learnt how to evaluate speakers better and I will definitely attend the next contest,” said Toh.
Nathan Ho, 11, observed: “The speakers were truly courageous and confident. It was inspiring to watch them.”
Fellow 11-year-old Lloyd Toh also found the experience positive.
“The contest was interesting and unforgettable. We got to meet the world champion,” he said.
Kids Speak is a programme which provides children, aged seven to 12, a platform to build their confidence through public speaking in English.
Programme coordinator and facilitator Rebecca Chieng was a semi-finalist at the 2013 Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Kids Speak recently conducted five showcases where 66 children spoke and presented various types of speeches — informative speeches, demonstration speeches, stories and poems.
To learn more, go to the Kids Speak Facebook Page.
This article is available at: Borneo Post.