IFTM student Aimee Yu Chenlu was placed 3rd runner-up in the 2nd Macao Universities Diplomatic Speech Contest, held recently. The event was co-organised by the Macao SAR Government and the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR. The aim of the contest is to raise knowledge among local young people about international relations and diplomatic matters.
The final was held on April 30, at the campus of the University of Macau. Guests included the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Mr. Liu Xianfa, and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ms. Ao Ieong U.
Aimee, a Year 3 student on IFTM’s Hotel Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme, says she took part in the contest as a way to improve her leadership skills. “Public speaking is a very important quality of leadership,” she says.
It was Aimee’s first time delivering a speech in front of a large audience, but she says she was not nervous. “I had already accumulated public speaking experience from project presentations for courses at IFTM,” the student notes.
The contest had an initial 28 entrants, with 8 selected to advance to the second and final round.
Aimee says the most challenging thing in preparing her speech was organising her thoughts in order to communicate a cohesive, logical flow of ideas to the audience. “In a written presentation, the connection between sentences and paragraphs is not quite the same as in a speech,” she explains.
“It would sound confusing to listeners if the logical connection in the speech is lost. To ensure tight connection between ideas, the speech needs to possess strong inner logic.”
IFTM Lecturer Mr. Fang Xing supported Aimee in her preparation for the speech contest. He highly praises her performance. “She was my student in Year 1,” Mr. Fang says. “I can see she is now more mature and able to think more deeply about certain issues.”
Mr. Fang agrees it is hard to prepare a good speech. “How sentences are structured, what words are used, at which point to apply a pause or a change of tone – all are very important for catching the audience’s attention.”
In the final of the contest, participants discussed a range of topics. These included international cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, global economic recovery, and international governance in tackling climate change.
Mr. Fang says participation in the event enabled Aimee and other IFTM students involved to broaden their understanding of international relations. It also helped enhance their patriotism and sense of belonging to the People’s Republic of China.
“They could understand China’s role in this rapidly-changing world, and how China and other countries engage in diplomatic exchanges to address mutual challenges such as climate-related issues,” he says. The IFTM scholar adds this type of activity is “a great opportunity for young people to learn from each other and practice public speaking skills, which is an important quality of leadership.”