Lectern Club returned with a fantastic evening on Friday, 11th February. The outdoor, more relaxed setting was a wonderful place for the speakers to engage and entertain us with their fantastic takes on this term’s theme, Legacy, while making sure all attendees were safely within the SOPs in order to enjoy the dinner to come. The night kicked off with a wonderful welcome and speech from the Master, swiftly followed by the first of the short speeches. Axel Lim explored the topic of Legacy through his speech on the existence of a ‘negative legacy’, and its effects on the perception of people in a material world. Axel was calm and confident, eagerly orating his take on the theme. Next, Alysha Azhar delivered a personal and emotional speech, starting with a recount of her relationship with her Aunt and makeup, and an experience shared with her grandmother who went out of her way to find Alysha’s then favourite Barbie movie just to make her happy. Alysha’s emotive storytelling emphasised her point on how legacies do not have to be large, grandiose actions; and that small things can make the biggest, lasting impact on people. Last, but certainly not least of the short speeches, was Asyiqin Zailani. Asyiqin took an incredibly thought-provoking alternative approach to the famous myth of Icarus, questioning our perceptions of Legacy and encouraging us to soar to the highest heights we can, just as Icarus did. Asyiqin was incredibly expressive, and this speech was amplified through her body language and control of tone. All participants of the short speech category were unique, with interesting perspectives on the theme.
After a delicious main course, the long speeches began. First was Wafie Arizal. Wafie took the lectern with calm and relaxed composure, starting by introducing herself and her speech. Wafie delivered a beautiful speech on how a legacy doesn’t have to be massive, globally impacting actions. She made reference to Princess Diana and the numerous acts of charity that have become her legacy. Following Wafie was Aman Kotecha. Aman’s speech was stimulating, centering around the story of a shoemaker whom Aman knew had made a massive impact on the politics and rights of people under the Malawi government. Aman managed to make those attending think about who gets to have a legacy, and from Aman’s speech, it is clear that a legacy is not limited to those with financial or social power. Finally, Eshaan closed off the long speeches with a beautiful recount of a memory from his dining table, where he understood that he wanted to leave behind a legacy of care, as an action through the generations to succeed himself. Eshaan’s pace and tone and his ability to take control of the lectern showcased him as a skilled and developed orator. The long speeches were hugely impressive, consistently engaging the audience.
Being able to judge these speeches was an opportunity that was immensely fruitful. I learnt that a good speech doesn’t just originate from the actual content, but a plethora of oratory and expressive techniques that all of the speakers showcased. It allowed me to look back on my own speech and use what I had observed to see where and how I could, and had, developed as a writer and a speaker. The winner of the short speech was Asyiqin Zailani, who had easily and confidently captivated the audience with her interesting speech and her control of the lectern. The winner of the long speech was Eshaan, who had a consistent and balanced approach to the topic. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, with all speakers displaying great skills and initiative; leaving a clear and positive legacy on the MCM’s Lectern Club.