OREANDA-NEWS. The Ford Research and Engineering Center (REC) and the Toastmasters Club and English Zone—a club aimed at developing employees’ English speaking skills—co-presented an English Speech Contest in the name of the REC’s ten year anniversary.

24 contestants participated in the contest, sharing their 10-year stories, either in their personal lives or their professional development with Ford. After three preliminary rounds the top three of each round, nine in total, reached the finale.

Dave Schoch, president, Ford Asia Pacific, presented an opening speech encouraging employees to have no fear and to embrace the chance to improve their public speaking skills.  With those words of encouragement, contestants would share their fantastic stories. Andy Ball, one of the judges in the competition, explained that “it’s really hard to determine the first, second and third places when everyone made such a fantastic effort”.

Mandy, from IT, won first place with her story, you only live once, why not make the most out of it. “I was afraid of public speaking and failure before, but I conquered my fear to participate in this contest,” Mandy said, “If I can do it, trust me, you can do it, too!”

Bella, from product development, who won second place, shared her story, The most rewarding part is you were all there listening to me, and Kathleen, from Purchasing, came in third place with her story Live in the moment and love what you’re doing, your future is what you want. Kathleen said the competition was a great journey. She was constantly challenging herself, being positive and learning from the past, while being clear as to what kind of person she wants to be.

This contest was a great platform for employees to improve their public speaking skills, to share their 10-year stories, and to reflect on their lives and their time with Ford. For the audience, it was also a great experience to touch, feel and learn from the contestants’ experiences.

Congratulations to the contestants who participated, and thank you to all of our judges and volunteers!