THE front-page report "Malaysian top speaker to meet Prince Philip" (NST, May 22) deserves praise.
Seventeen-year -old Marina Tan Hsien Wei did herself, her family, school and the nation proud by becoming the first-ever Malaysian to emerge champion in the just-concluded English Speaking Union (ESU) International Public Speaking Competition 2012 in London.
Marina's outstanding achievement won her a trophy and also the rare honour of a return flight ticket to London to meet the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip in November.
En route to winning the title, this intelligent Penang lass managed to bring out her best to beat 53 speakers and her great success certainly deserves the highest praise from us all. I hope the government will reward Marina accordingly to motivate her further to excel in public speaking and at the same time inspire others to follow her footsteps in bringing honour and success to the nation.
Marina attributed her success to conducting extensive research on the Internet and spending long hours preparing herself by writing and practising her speech. Her self-confidence, positive personality and excellent command of English are important factors that enabled her to come out top in this very prestigious international competition.
Speech means the act of speaking. The act of speaking includes conversation, public speaking, debating, discussions, storytelling and acting!
The impact of speech depends on the content and ideas expressed by the act of speaking. Public speaking is an art to be mastered as it is extremely useful and important in today's highly competitive, informative and demanding world.
A skilful speaker stands to gain more compared with ordinary or non-skilful speakers.
A good and effective speech will make a world of difference to the audience and influence the final results.