• World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships 2019 & 2018 – Hong Kong Team (2019: Team Captain & 63rd Place; 2018: Top 150)
  • 7th China British Parliamentary Debating Championship 2018 Public Speaking Contest – 1st Runner-up
  • 14th Hong Kong Parliamentary Debating Society Tournament 2018 – Best Public Speaker
  • TEDxDBS Trailblazer 2018-2019 – Curator
  • Diocesan Boys’ School Public Speaking Club 2018-2019; Astronomy Club 2017-2019 – Vice-Chairman

When my name was called at the Hong Kong Team Trials for Worlds for the second consecutive year, the usually reticent me unabashedly pounded on my chest. To the other contestants, it seemed an overdramatic display of accomplishment. But to me, speaking has a special place in my heart because I treasure much, much more my role as ambassador for the causes I speak for than the trophy in my hands.

I vividly remember the first time I entered into a speaking competition. As my first time speaking in front of a large audience, I felt my legs were about to give way as I lumbered onto the stage. Halfway through my speech, the dreaded moment happened. My mind suddenly went blank. I froze on stage, for what must have been an eternity. Acutely aware I was being taped, I somehow mustered enough courage to improvise the rest of my speech.

Reflecting on this humiliating incident, I questioned my efficacy as a speaker – my stage fright seemed an insurmountable hurdle. My doubt dissipated one day when I met him in person, and that had changed the course of my life.

When he appeared, I was completely transfixed, though not by his tiny, limbless figure. Instead, I could tell he had an unwavering sense of purpose and a rare tranquility in his composure that revealed he had vanquished his deepest fears. Hearing him speak, his voice resonated with me and I realized instantly that I share the same qualities with him – his sincerity and ability to touch people’s hearts. Something he said stuck with me, “If there wasn’t a miracle for you, you can still be someone else’s miracle.” He is none other than Nick Vujicic.

From that moment on, speaking took on a whole new meaning to me. I realized the magical impact speaking has on people and the world around you. I learnt to embrace my stage fright because showing vulnerability is what makes speaking authentic and powerful. Empowered by this realization, I went on to become an activist, voicing out for diverse causes as plastics pollution, refugee crisis and factory farming.

Having experienced the power of speaking first-hand, I became a Curator in TEDxDBS, which is an annual event where speakers with extraordinary ideas or experiences are invited to give talks at our school. I decided on the theme “Trailblazer” for the event, because I knew how sharing of ideas and experiences can inspire people, kindle their passions and forge paths for them to pursue their dreams.

Nick didn’t just help me rediscover what speaking truly meant to me, he showed me how we can make positive changes to the world around us and changed my entire outlook on life. As a car fanatic, I am no longer content with just building my knowledge bank on automobiles as a pursuit. Rather, I think of how I can make a difference with my skills and knowledge. I would conceive solutions to pressing issues of energy shortage and negative impacts from conventional means of energy production. In this regard, for instance, I partnered with a few friends on devising viable piezoelectric roads, which harness wasted energy from automobiles.

I feel deeply privileged to have discovered the essence of speaking because, then again, it has been and will always be the essence of my inspiration.