After the event's inception back in 2011, the fourth instalment of “The Annual Public Speaking Competition and Masquerade Medley IV” was presented by the North South University English Club on February 28, 2015 at the Recreation Center, NSU. The venue remained abuzz with excited attendees who showcased their creative talents. As per tradition, the event featured a public speaking contest, this time with the tagline “Speak Up”, and of course, the much awaited costume party.
This year, “Wild Wild West” was the theme of the event. The giant backdrop of a dusty desert town was set up, while the walls bore articles like paper horses and fairy lights that only complemented the atmosphere.
The programme began as Farzana Mohsin, the faculty advisor of the club, inaugurated the proceedings with a speech. The panel of judges comprised Tamoha Binte Siddiqui, alumnus and ex-president of the club; and special guest Yamin Khan, prominent comedian who has performed at major events such as TEDxDhaka. The Top 10 speakers, who were selected in a preliminary round earlier, had been called upon the stage. The topic was: “Freedom of speech: A reality or an illusion in today's world?” Soon enough, the competitors delivered speeches that ignited much tension in the hall.
Later, the participants for the costume contest walked onto the stage and introduced themselves as all-time famous Western ballads were played in the background. The costumes ranged from the elusive Zorro to Angelica from “Pirates of the Caribbean” and from cheerful witches to beautiful goddesses – there was originality everywhere.
After both the events ended, Director, Student Affairs of NSU, Professor Dr. M. Emdadul Haq, took to the stage to discuss how to speak effectively. “The art of public speaking enables you to handle many surprisingly difficult situations,” he added. Soon, the award giving ceremony began. The winners of the public speaking competition – Asif Mahtab, Nusaiba Mirza and Mushfiqur Rahman –were handed crests and prize money. As for the costume contest, the “Showgirl” (Alruza Rahman Dristy), “Mr. Darcy” (Niladry Sabir), and “Naruto” (Faisal Islam) bagged the awards in separate categories.
“Speech is the mode of our rationality. It is what makes us human. Masquerade Medley allowed us to be heard, even amid a nation filled with noise,” said Asif Mahtab, who won the “Best Speaker” award.
Yamin Khan, with his usual hilarious performance, ensured that the participants would return home with smiles on their faces as the curtains fell on this edition of the event.
FIVE and The Gingerbread Girl were the gift and the food partners respectively. SHOUT was the English print media partner for the event.