The FDT Canadian
Public Speaking Contest

Winners in the Grade 4-7 category:

1st Place ($2000 prize): Pritika Lahiri from Homelands Senior Public School (ON)
2nd Place ($1000 prize): Millie Steinmann from Country Day School (ON)
3rd Place ($500 prize): Jin Zhou from Henderson Avenue Public School (ON)

Winners in the Grade 8-12 category:

1st Place ($3000 prize): Zaki Lakhani from Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (AB)
2nd Place ($2000 prize): Ashley Wong from Mulgrave School (BC)
3rd Place ($1000 prize): Rafeeq Kassam-Jiwani from West Point Grey Academy (BC)

We want to congratulate all of our finalists on their hard work and success,
as well as all of the gifted students from across Canada who sent in their submissions!

Fostering Debate Talent Academy is excited to invite you
to participate in The FDT Canadian Public Speaking Contest,
with over $10,000 in cash prizes to be won!



This contest is being established by FDT Academy for two main purposes:

  • To encourage the creation and promotion of positive activities for youth amidst the COVID-19 Quarantine
  • To raise funds for Food Banks Canada in a time of crisis and need for so many Canadians (FDT will donate $5 to Food Banks Canada for each entry received, up to a total of $10,000)

How to Enter

To enter, students must record and submit a 3-5 minute speech on one of the following topics based on their current school grade:

  • Grades 4-7: The Heroes of COVID-19
  • Grades 8-12: The World After Quarantine

Students will submit their speeches as unlisted videos on YouTube (unlisted videos are not viewable by the public)

Video & Speech Guidelines

  • The speaker must be captured from the waist up
  • The speaker should present directly to the camera
  • The speaker should be well lit
  • The background of the video should be clean and simple
  • There should be no background noise present in the video
  • The speech must be between 3-5 minutes (speeches longer or shorter will not be reviewed)

Click here for more tips on making great videos!

How to Upload Your Video

Please upload your video to YouTube and email the link to FDTSpeech@gmail.com by Wednesday, May 6th at 11:59 pm PST. The following information must be included in the email:

  • Participant Name
  • Participant Grade
  • Participant City, Province
  • Participant School
  • Link to the Video

For students who do not wish their videos to be public, but who would still like to participate, they may make their video “unlisted”.


In an effort to connect students from across the country, students are encouraged to share their videos or clips of their videos through social media and to tag Fostering Debate Talent Academy on Facebook (@fosteringdebatetalent) and Instagram (@fdtacademy).


FDT may feature your video online! Share and follow the hashtags #FDTPublicSpeakingContest #FDTAcademy #FosteringDebateTalent


If you are submitting your entry privately, we encourage you to make a social media post or story about your participation in the contest, including the above elements.


*Social media sharing is entirely voluntary and not part of the formal competition

Competition Details

The top speakers in each age category will be invited to compete LIVE on Zoom for the cash prizes! This will take place on Wednesday, May 20th (time and details TBD). All students invited to the Live Zoom Final will receive $100. The Following Cash Prizes will be given to the top 3 speakers in each category:

Grades 4-7

  • 3rd Place $500
  • 2nd Place $1000
  • 1st Place $2000

Grades 8-12

  • 3rd Place $1000
  • 2nd Place $2000
  • 1st Place $3000

All Finalists will receive free video mentorship from a qualified FDT Instructor before the Zoom Finals. All entrants will receive detailed feedback from a qualified FDT Instructor. Students will be marked in 4 categories and allocated a score out of 50. The categories are as follows:

  • Delivery – Volume, Tone, Pace, Eye Contact, Gestures, Movement, Poise & Appearance (20 marks)
  • Content – Adherence to Topic, Subject Matter, Quality of Writing (20 marks)
  • Organization – Ability to Follow Along, Clarity (5 marks)
  • Overall Impression – How engaging was the speech? (5 marks)

We look forward to receiving your submissions! Good luck!