Friday afternoon, the end of March, the sun is shining. Vörösmarty Square, the Gerbeaud, the English flag and the British Embassy, at last. I’ve never been there before. It is a very big day. The day of the International Public Speaking Competition where all the participants have to prove their thoughts about the theme: “Imagination is much more important than knowledge”. How did I get here? After one and a half months of preparation… Taking a look back, I feel satisfaction. It was an amazing adventure, a very useful and a very enjoyable one.
At the beginning of this semester I found an interesting message among my emails about a brand new subject, called ‘Public Speaking’ which also prepares one for the International Public Speaking Competition. What is it? It sounds like a subject about speaking!! It also seemed helpful for my future plans of teaching, when I will have to stand in front of children and later maybe young adults…Wow! When is it going to be held? I won’t have time for this, or maybe….What if?? Excitement hit me! I was just jumping around in my happiness when I sent my answer, “YES”, to Dr. Andrea Reményi telling her that I wanted to attend and also take part in the competition.
During February we worked hard on many speeches with my six classmates. Week after week we got to know how to write a speech, how to act, how to speak; we learnt how to express our thoughts in five minutes in a structured and fixed but nevertheless effective way. Listening to others, criticising each other, improving ourselves the time had come to prepare for the first part of the competition at our beloved PPCU. The very last speech, the final one. Imagination and knowledge…It should be appealing, exciting, intriguing, grabbing…but how? I hate it when I cannot sleep. Turning from side to side. Left, right, left again, right. Then a thought broke into my mind. Mickey mouse!! Such a lovely little creature. He is actually a creature of imagination and knowledge, who makes the audience think as well as imagine. Make them laugh and smile! Grab them! Could this work, I wondered? Then, writing down Mickey’s name on a sheet of paper, I fell asleep. Later on I knew how I wanted to set out my speech. I would prove with and through Mickey Mouse that both imagination and knowledge were important and that they were related to each other. Perfect! Losing my uncertainty about it, I realized that it would do quite nicely. Everyone was exited and a bit anxious at the Pázmány competition. We crossed our fingers for each other. It was amazing to listen to the final speeches, listen to our common pieces of work. It was great fun!
Now here I am. Sitting in the first row at the British Embassy. Crazy! It would have not been possible without the conscientious help of Anett and Imre, the two MA students, who worked and supported us through these two months, and Dr. Reményi who started this seminar and taught us many ideas about the way of speaking in front of an audience. I’m so grateful to them and for their help!!
Number seven! Heart beating. The girl who came from Piliscsaba. “Which name do you like?”-they ask- “Zsófi or Zsófia?” “Zsófi, certainly.” The last glance at the timer woman and ready, steady, go! WELCOME Everyone! And it started: Sparkling eyes, quite a big audience. Let’s involve them, grab them, make them smile. Mickey, the creature of imagination and knowledge. Make him alive, cute eyes, round ears. Drawing him in the air with my magical pencil we imagined Mickey as he was standing beside me (and also ‘supported’ me) through my speech. What a big place I have for moving! I can walk even! Fantastic! Do not be lost in the eyes. Do not forget the speech. Courage! Speak by heart. Speak fluently, articulately, keep the eye-contact, be free, enjoy it! And look at them, at the back of the room, my Mum, Anett, Imre, Dr. Reményi and almost the whole group. They are all smiling. Amazing! The price was gotten. I could speak in English in front of the audience at the British Embassy and they enjoyed it as it seemed. Mickey, would you please say goodbye to the audience? “Goodbyyyyyyyyye.” Look, he’s waving! Crazy! Goodbye. Thank you very much!
( Medgyessy Zsófia was among the first 10 participants, she reached place 9. )
Featured Image by Krassó Timi