Public speaking competitions have always caught my attention. I enjoy watching
students speaking proficiently and voicing their opinions with utmost
confidence. However, I was never bold enough to actually be a contestant in
these competitions. The fear of forgetting my story, stuttering and stammering
during my speech or failing the impromptu sessions frequently haunted me.
the same, my English teacher, Mrs Ho, wheedled me into trying my luck at the
district level public speaking competition. I was a little unnerved and
at first, but after some encouragement I felt I was up to the challenge. I
practiced hard each day with the intention of claiming top honors at the
competition. I did not want to give in to my foibles, but rose up to the
Soon, I was on my way to the public speaking competition venue which was a a
stone's throw away from my school. My prepared speech played endlessly in my
head. I knew I had to execute each word with utter perfection. After some time,
I started to feel a little more confident in my ability to memorize the story
and was certain that I could clinch the first prize.
The hall I entered was filled with students and teachers, all of them looking
intimidating. Looking up at Mrs Ho, she comforted me by smiling and advised me
not to worry. I was the final contestant for my category. The waiting was sheer
agony as I watched each contestant make their painful exit.
Half an hour later, a teacher told me it was my turn. Without delay, I got up
on stage. The large crowd made me cringe a trifle but I managed to begin my
speech flawlessly. Into the third minute of my eight-minute speech, I started
forgetting my lines. Tiny droplets of perspiration began to trickle down my
neck. My hands began to quiver. Suddenly, I was completely blank and the words
of my story began to elude me. As people started pointing and looking at me, I
quickly ran off stage and into the car park.
Mrs Ho quickly rushed towards me and tried to console me. She told me that
what had happened was not something uncommon. Many students often go blank and
freeze on stage. Nevertheless, that moment will forever be branded in my head as
the most embarrassing moment of my life.