At the beginning of summer break, Public Speaking Club organized an impromptu titled Speak with Purpose to help students upscale their knowledge, skills, and exposure to become confident speakers. The impromptu served as an opportunity for the students to learn about public speaking from professionals.
The competition reflected participants' interest in improving their public speaking skills. The event was attended by Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun (President of Parami University), Dr. Will Buckinghum (Faculty at Parami University), two professional public speakers, and Parami undergraduate students.
It was a three-day event. The event's first two days were an intensive training program led by professional trainers to share public speaking knowledge and essential strategies for participants to prepare for the contest. On the final day, the competition was held with the presence of judges, observers, and Parami fellows.
"The biggest achievement of the event is the student's participation and success of the event. The organizing team worked so hard to implement the program. Before we started planning, we thought the process would be easy, but it was not. There are many things we needed to consider, such as inviting professional public speakers to give professional development training," said Myat Moe Kywe, Parami Class of 2026, the Founder of Public Speaking Club
Nine participants joined the impromptu contest. The competition consisted of two rounds, each with a different topic. Parami undergraduate student Shun is one of the impromptu contestants presenting two topics: "If I Ruled the World" and "Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage." She won a diamond prize.
"The first topic was "If I Ruled the World," allowing me to turn my imagination into realistic goals. I discussed establishing a "Worldwide Culture Exchange Program," where unity and understanding flourish, and the joy of discovering new cultures becomes a universal experience for all. The second topic was "Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage." This topic provoked profound thoughts, as both types hold significance in our society. Instead of pitting them against each other, I celebrated how individuals find love, companionship, and happiness." said Shun, an impromptu contestant.
Participants gained valuable knowledge and strategies related to public speaking through expert training sessions and an opportunity to enhance their practical oral communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and research skills through the impromptu competition.
The club invited three judges: one faculty member at Parami University and two professional public speakers from outside the university. Two of the three judges provided training sessions for the students before the competition.
"I was enormously impressed by the organizers' work in the Impromptu Contest. It was an impressive feat of organization, and the competition took place seamlessly. But I was no less impressed by the ability of the participants to think on their feet and to talk engagingly and intelligently. It was a delight to be a part of the judging panel." said Professor Dr. Will Buckingham, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Parami University.
Myat views the importance of public speaking as an essential component of promoting civic engagement activities.
"Public speaking to me is not just improving public speaking skills but being able to communicate ideas, thoughts, and opinions, which is very important for civic engagement. To communicate our purpose and beliefs, we need that confidence [in public speaking] and also critical thinking skills to have our voices heard." ― Myat Moe Kywe, Parami Class of 2026, the Founder of Public Speaking Club
As the founder of the Public Speaking Club and being involved in many public speaking events herself, Myat shared her top three public speaking tips: 2) Embrace the opportunity that is given, 2) Discover your passion in public speaking - start with things you care about and 3) Practice to make yourself comfortable.
Shun added, "Speaking in public would be hard for an introverted person like me. However, the Public Speaking Clubs provided training and workshops that boosted my confidence to join the contest. As a first-timer, the event taught me that conveying opinions to the public isn't difficult. It simply requires the courage to initiate the conversation."