Semi finalist Tamara Chipasula

From a young age, as far back as primary school, I watched my cousin presenting as a journalist on Zambian TV and I admired her poise, speech and confidence. I didn’t know what it would take to speak like that but I was head over heels in love with the idea of speaking.

The main message in my speech was that in life we all pass through some difficult times. But in those moments we must learn to stand up and fight those challenges to excel. I chose this topic to encourage and uplift someone because sometimes when we pass through such times we feel like giving up. But the secret is actually not to give up, but fight back. I personally passed through a number of difficult situations over the past 10 years but when I chose to stand up and fight, I conquered.

I have learnt 3 key things. Firstly the importance of planning your speech and practising it. Secondly the importance of having a mentor and thirdly to speak from the heart. The more you share a story that people can relate to the more powerful your speech will be.

My goal was to never back down even if the competition was tough, but rather learn from the experience to become a better speaker.

My advise is to get out of your comfort zone. You will never know what you can achieve until you try something. This was my first time entering a competition and I didn’t know what to expect. What i knew though was that i wanted to become a better speaker at an international level.