Public Speaking Competition

Register now for the International Women’s Day Emerging Female Leaders Public Speaking Competition! The competition aims to help young women sharpen their public speaking skills and network with women leaders in Antigua and Barbuda. Registration is open to women between 18 and 30 years old, on or before March 8, 2021.



The Directorate of Gender Affairs in collaboration with the UWI Open Campus, Caribbean Union Bank, and the Halo Foundation will be hosting the Emerging Female Leaders (EFL) Public Speaking Competition to commemorate International Women’s Day 2021. The competition aims to allow young women to hone their research, writing, and speaking skills.


The competition is open to young women between 18 and 30 years old. Participants should be, no less than 18 years and no more than 30 years on March 8 of the competition year.


  • The competition will run in 2 stages on the same day, the semi-finals, and the finals. There will be a short break in between rounds.
  • For each round, speakers should aim to speak for no more than 3 minutes 30 seconds. Speakers will incur a penalty of -5 points every 10 seconds their speech lasts over 3 minutes.
  • The timekeeper will give an audible signal after 2 minutes, 3 minutes and 3 minutes 30 seconds. The timekeeper will record the lengths of the speeches and give them to the adjudicators.
  • The Speaker must not read her speech.


  • Participants will be required to deliver a prepared speech on the IWD 2021 theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.
  • A copy of the speech is permitted during the delivery, however, speakers are expected to maintain good eye contact.
  • Five speakers will qualify for the final.


  • Participants will be required to deliver an impromptu speech from a list of topics given 15 minutes in advance. The topics will relate to the theme of gender equality, feminism, and women’s empowerment. Speakers will draw their topic at random. They may speak for or against the selected topic.
  • During the 15 minutes preparation period, speakers should make notes for reference during their speech. They should focus on having a good introduction (30 seconds approx.) and conclusion (30 seconds approx.) and they should think about one or two main points for the main section of their speech (2 minutes approx.). A palm-sized cue card (4″x4″ max) with leading points is permitted.
  • A winner and two runners-up will be selected based on their performances.

Allocation of Marks

Organisation & Clarity: Main arguments and responses are outlined in a clear and orderly way.
Use of Argument: Reasons are given to support the resolution.
Presentation Style: Visual and auditory expression were used to empathize the argument e.g.: Tone of voice and clarity of expression.
Overall Effectiveness: Overall persuasiveness of the speech and presentation.