Student Workshop

The 2019 ESU Latvia Public Speaking Competition Workshop will take place on Saturday December 1, 2018 at 12:00 at Rīgas Valsts 1.Ģimnāzija, Raiņa Blv. 8, room will be posted near the entrance.

The workshop is led by previous National finalists and gives valuable insight into our competition here and in London. Teachers and students are welcome! A great help in preparing speeches!




ESU Latvia News

A new school year! A new “centennial”! A new ESU Latvia President!
This information has two names-signatures: my last one as the ESU Latvia President as I am leaving on a hopefully well deserved retirement.  I am wishing all the very best to Iveta Ivansone, our new President whom I have known for some years – this chapter is going to be in good, capable hands! I will remain on the Board, providing help if and as needed.  Also I am wishing to the schools I had the privilege to know – be a winner!

Here is some preliminary information and dates of the new IPSC 2019 “season”.

This year’s theme/topic is “Nature is a common language.”

Dates to keep in mind:
December 1stPublic Speaking Workshop hosted by Rigas Valsts 1. Gimnazija, Raina Blv. 8, starting at 12:00.  The workshop is led by previous National finalists and gives valuable insight into our competition here and in London, it will be of great help in preparing speeches. Teachers and students are welcome!
FebruaryKurzeme/Vidzeme/Zemgale Regional Finals: Date and venue to be specified and announced later.
April 6th: National Finals at SSE, Soros Auditorium, Strelnieku iela 4a, 11:00-15:00 (approx.)
May 13th-17th: International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) in London

We are happy to have former National finalist Gustavs Ēvalds join our team! Gustavs has already offered his help and shared in his experience in previous ESU public speaking workshops and we look forward to his contribution and new ideas in future events.

Looking forward to discovering new voices in this year’s competition. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Ruta Zadziorska, President Emerita
Iveta Z. Ivansone, ESU Latvia President


Public Speaking Competition National Finals 2018

  “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”

 Judges: Mrs. Denise WIRTH – Lecturer at SSE, Waldorf teacher

 Mr. Louis DOWLING – English teacher, International School of Riga

 Mrs. Ingrida-Karina Berzina – Attorney at Law; lecturer SSE Riga – Graduate School of Law  

 Introductions:  Nikola Ščadro – Finalist 2017 IPSC Latvia

 Opening remarks – Ruta Zadziorski – ESU Latvia President

 Awards – Defence Attaché Sqn Ldr. Mark Sapsford


Hugo Huberts Puriņš               Who else if not me?                     Iecavas vidusskola

 Emīls Konrāds                        The compass of life                       Alojas vidusskola

  Klāvs Elsiņš                      Shaping the future yourself                 Alojas vidusskola

 Undīne Maurīte             Be the one that makes difference            Valmieras Viestura vidusskola

 Alisa Turukova             Three steps to the future                 Daugavpils Krievu vidusskola-licejs

 Valerija Soņina                    Destiny                                               Daugavpils 3. vidusskola  

 Kristofers Buks              The future is in your hands                     Jēkabpils Valsts ģimnāzija

 Valērija Ruta Hartmane     Goal is the key to invention               Jēkabpils Valsts ģimnāzija

 Paula Ondzule              Change the present to help the future       Jēkabpils Valsts ģimnāzija              

Darja Sediha                   The time is now                                       Rīgas Valsts 1.ģimnāzija

 Rebeka Nagle                 The book of future                                    Rīgas Valsts 1.ģimnāzija

 Elza Viktorija Zorgevica   I am a dreamer but that shouldn’t stall me  Rīgas Angļu ģimnāzija

  Karolina Konopecka       How to make the bright future happen?      Rīgas Klasiskā ģimnāzija

 Katrīna Miščuka                     The present                          Rīgas Centra humanitārā vidusskola



And the winner of PSC 2018 is….


Rebeka Nagle    Rīgas Valsts 1. ģimnāzija


Our winner in London

From left: Ayushmann from India, Kristin from Canada, Mafalda from Portugal and Rebeka from Latvia

Guidelines for successful public speaking

Here are some guidelines from the Judge in Riga and Latgale region PSC.


To get energy you must give energy

- This does not mean you need to shout and jump around but you must display a passion for what you are speaking about otherwise it comes off as a statement. Great orators have the ability to move an audience by emotion alone.

 Be Prepared

- It is said you must prepare one hour for each minute of a speech. So for these young adults they should put in the practice time once they have figured out the narrative of their speech.

 Non-Verbals Speak Volume

- Depending on what research you are looking at up to 85% on how humans communicate is through non verbal language. This takes practice and a good friend who is willing to provide constructive criticism. If you can video yourself and see if you are engaging to the audience but not over the top.


- If you don’t believe it no one else will. People sitting in the audience want to hear from you so provide them will a message you believe in.

 Time Fillers

- Train yourself to a standard so you don’t just fill time. We all talk faster when we get in front of an audience so take that into consideration when you are preparing. Judges can tell when you are just filling time to hear the bell ring.

 Third Person and Asking Yourself Rhetorical Questions

- Be careful with this one. Sometimes questions can be useful but it can also appear rehearsed and fake. Please you me, myself or I rather than using your name in a third person.

 Points – This is very subjective however all the judges had the same people at the top so regardless of how each judge decided to weigh each category the outcome was similar. If I was coaching to the format for this competition I would concentrate on the above items first then address items such as appearance, greetings, openings and closings.

 Again thank you for letting us be a part of this amazing competition.


 Jon A. Logan

CPT, Civil Affairs

Team Leader


Message by our President in ESU WEB-page

Monday 5 February 2018

The History of ESU Latvia

by Ruta Zadziorski, ESU Latvia President

Like the ESU, Latvia is open to many cultures and experiences and their fates have met in the past.

The English-Speaking Union of Latvia has been a member of the ESU since 2002. The English language is practically the second language to many Latvians and is widely used in commerce and banking. ESU Latvia participates annually in the IPSC, sending their finalist to London.

Moreover, ESU and Latvia are both celebrating their centennials this year!  They not only share a common number of years but, more importantly, have some shared history.  This is especially evident in the capital city of Riga, which was transformed by its mayor, George Armistead, whose family originated in Yorkshire, England (and whose daughter is said to have had piano lessons with Richard Wagner, who was residing in Riga at that time!). He transformed Riga into a modern city, establishing electric streetcars, and building many schools and hospitals.

The UK was the first country to de facto recognize Latvia’s independence. When HRH Queen Elizabeth II visited Riga in 2006 she dedicated a monument to George Armistead and his family, and this is located in a park opposite to the Opera – one of the prettiest places in Riga.  During her visit, I had the great honour to be presented to her in my capacity as ESU Latvia president.


PSC 2018 next events

Dear English teachers,

This is further on next events for Public Speaking Competition:


Rīga Regional Finals: February 17, Great Hall, Rīgas Valsts 1.ĢimnāzijaRaiņa bulv.8. Registration 9:30.


National Finals: Saturday April 7 at SSE Soros Auditorium, Strēlnieku ielā 4a (10 – 14 approx.)


London dates: May 14 – 18, 2018.

Student Workshop 2018

The 2018 ESU Latvia Workshop will take place on Saturday January 20 at 11:00 at Rigas Valsts 1.Gimnazija, Raina Blv. 8, room will be posted near the entrance.

Past London finalists Nikola Szadro and Gustavs Evalds will be present to tell about their experience and answer questions.


The Workshop is gaining more and more in popularity and is giving students some insight into our competition here and in London and what is really required. A great help in preparing speeches!


PSC National Final 2017

PSC NATIONAL FINALS   April 8, 2017­­­ 


“Peace is not an absence of war”

 Judges: Mrs. Denise WIRTH – Lecturer at SSE, Waldorf teacher

 Mr. Louis DOWLING – English teacher, International School of Riga

 Mr. Kristaps OZOLINS – National Winner of the ESU IPSC 2008


Introductions:  Gustavs Evalds – Finalist 2016 IPSC Latvia

Opening remarks – Ruta ZADZIORSKI – ESU Latvia President

Awards – Andrew GARNER,1st Secretary  Political, British Embassy Riga



Hugo Huberts Puriņš                        Vicious circle                                Iecavas vidusskola

 Rebeka Anete Reinere                       Splendour                                      Talsu 2.vidusskola

 Eva Kucina                                          The undeclared war                     Daugavpils 12. vidusskola

 Ernests Graholskis                The connection between war and peace    Daugavpils 9. vidusskola

 Viktorija Izotova                               The winner takes it all                    Daugavpils 3.vidusskola

 Nikola Šādro                                    To be or not to be               Jēkabpils Valsts ģimnāzija                 

 Aivars Lucijanovs                     Why is war? What is war?                       Jēkabpils Valsts ģimnāzija

 Lada Leidmane                                  Step out of war                                Rīgas 34. vidusskola

 Emīlija Rozenšteina                          Peaceful sounds of war                   Rīgas Valsts 1.ģimnāzija

 Monta Kristiāna Nitiša                     War. Freedom. Ignorance.              Rīgas Valsts 3.ģimnāzija

 Vladimirs Ščigoļevs      Peace – the goal that will never be achieved       Rīgas Klasiskā ģimnāzija

 Emīls Konrāds                                    Our crossroads                               Alojas Ausekļa vidusskola


 And the winner is:


Nikola Šādro (First Place)                     Jēkabpils Valsts ģimnāzija

Eva Kucina   (Second Place)              Daugavpils 12. Vidusskola

Emīlija Rozenšteina (Third Place)      Rīgas Valsts 1.ģimnāzija

Student Workshop 2016

Dear English teachers,

This will be a somewhat different (and earlier) format to keep you informed about our activities and is the first letter giving you some preliminary but important information, such as dates and a new feature – an earlier Student Workshop. By attending it, your students may gain insight into our competition and what is required. Past National Finals winners – those who went to London, explain and tell about their experience in London and what is needed to succeed at this competition. Students are encouraged to ask questions.

Dates: Workshop/Seminar – Saturday November 12, 11:00 at Rigas Valsts 1.Gimnazija, Raina Blv. 8, room will be posted. It is free of charge and registration is not required.


Theme or Topicof Public Speaking Competition (provided by ESU London):

Peace is not an absence of war


Regional Finals: approx. mid February, details to follow later.

National Finals: Saturday April 8 at SSE Soros Auditorium 10:00 – 14:00. More details later.

London dates: May 8 – 12, 2017.

Membership fees have not changed: 18 Euros per school entitling 2 students, the 3rd student at an additional 7 Euros. Payment information together with 2017 School Registration Form will be sent early December.


It is hoped you will have students attending the Nov. 12 Workshop – a really valuable experience!

If there are any questions or help is needed, please be sure to let me know.

Kind regards and all the best,


Ruta Zadziorska

ESU Latvia President

Impressions from IPSC 2016 by our winner Gustavs Ēvalds

IPSC 2016 was eye-opening, inspiring and immensely fun. Looking back, while I feel that I could have done more regarding my performance, there isn’t a thing that I would change.

 The whole event just draws you in and dictates the pace. Every day passes in an instant -Shakespeare’s Globe, workshops, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, all the sight-seeing – each day you learn something new and beneficial. And while all of it is great, the best part is the interaction – the cultural exchange and discussion, which happens in the midst of it all. After a few days you feel like you have known all of the participants for a few years, not days. Everyone is befriending each other and those friendships can be clearly seen on the competition day – there are many exchanges of good wishes and encouragements both before and after the speeches.

Thinking back, even though I felt sorry for not getting through to the semi-finals, at the same time I felt extremely glad that multiple of my friends had made it in. And I feel like that is one of the biggest gains from this competition – friendships across nations, across cultures and across the world. The experience you take home with you both as a public speaker and as a person is enormous. It was an amazing experience and I wish to meet all of them again someday.