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You are here: ESU and IPSC


The English Speaking Union (ESU), established back in 1918, is a dynamic educational charity that brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures. By building skills and confidence in communication, we give people the opportunity to realise their potential. Worldwide, the members and alumni of the ESU support these objectives.

Our vision is to provide people with communication skills, confidence and networking opportunities. We endeavour to see that the value of good communication as an essential attribute for individual, community and global development and understanding is publicly recognised and widely integrated into education and social policy. The importance of effective spoken communication skills cannot be underestimated. Even in a global village where communication is dominated by Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (the list goes on), the ability to speak confidently in public remains invaluable for people in all walks of life. World leaders in politics, law, religion, business, science, technology and entertainment all have an important skill in common. They speak with confidence. With the spoken word, they persuade and inspire Ė often transcending the limits of online and other electronic communication.

The International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) has been held annually since 1981 and is one of the ESUís most successful and far-reaching international programmes. It has three objectives:

  • To give young people practical experience in the fundamental skills of public speaking.
  • To provide a focus for the learning of effective communication skills in English among young people in countries where English is not the first language.
  • To give students from a variety of countries and backgrounds a chance to meet, exchange views and form friendships.

The IPSC provides students with an opportunity to develop the vital skills that enable them to speak with confidence in public. Not only does the competition enhance these public speaking and critical thinking skills; it also gives students the opportunity to showcase them in an international competitive arena, which makes the practice of public speaking even more engaging and exciting for everyone involved.

The 2011 competition will be the 31st anniversary of the ESU IPSC.