By Amanda Lim
After hearing him give a class presentation, Toastmaster’s Club president Fauzi Bin Bajuri, 17, thought Caleb Ee had great public speaking potential.
The second-year Business Studies student then urged his friend to take part in Speechcraft 2011, a public speaking competition jointly organised by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) and the Toastmaster’s Club.
It was just two weeks before the qualifying rounds when Caleb dropped out.
Feeling bad about breaking his promise, the 17-year-old decided to attend the qualifying round, a choice he does not regret.
“I heard a speech about fear,” the 17-year-old recalls, “The message was that when you’re afraid of something, instead of backing off, just go for it.”
The speech inspired Caleb and he leapt to the registration booth to sign up once again. By that time, he only had fifteen minutes to conjure up a speech and the idea came in the form of ‘Linkativity’, a word that was made up by Barney Stintson from his favourite sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.
“To me [Linkativity] means that everything can relate to anything,” he says, “The message I wanted to send out was that no matter how mundane life got, when you look at things from a different perspective, you might realise something unexpected.”
“I was really proud and impressed by Caleb’s performance that day,” says Fauzi, “He really nailed it.”
Caleb’s bravado earned him a thumbs-up to the semi-finals but he will never let himself forget that sense of satisfaction.
“To whoever feels that they [cannot] conquer their inner demons… look to [your] friends, because friends will give you the support you need.”
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