The Winning Speech

About the Public Speaking and Debate Club

The ACE Public Speaking and Debate Club believes that communication skills are essential for empowering youth to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honourable leaders in our global society. We connect, support and inspire a diverse community of students committed to fostering excellence in young people through competitive speech and debate activities.

The ACE Debate Competition is an internal initiative that identifies and trains the best public speakers and debaters sourced from the ACE Diploma Courses who will eventually participate in the external IDP-organised CamDebate competition. The club provides resources and a space for ACE students to gather together and improve their speaking and debating skills outside the classroom, working to refine their English proficiency.

They meet on Sunday from 9:00-11:00am at ACE Tuol Tom Poung campus (#167, Street 163 corner St 480, Phnom Penh, Cambodia). To join the club you must be enrolled in the Public Speaking and Debate Diploma Course.

About the Speech

In 2017 Ms Khathtiya (Catya) SAMBEUTY, an ACE Diploma Program student, competed and received a victory in ACE Public Speaking & Debate Competition 2017: Round 1, with the speech below. Here is an excerpt from her inspirational speech.     


My Hero Speech

In life, I’m fortunate enough to have people standing by me and there to save me. My parents would do anything to guarantee my happiness, my teachers would try the best possible to make sure I am on the right track, the soldiers of my nation have scarified their lives for my own. These are the people I call my heroes because they have saved me and inspired me to be strong and grateful. But there was a point in my life where depression really hit me hard. I felt so helpless that I wanted to stop existing. Back then I questioned, “I have all these heroes that are there to save me why do I feel helpless? Why am I still not happy?  We all have people being heroes for us but at some points in life, why would do we feel lost and want to give up?

As I get older the answer has become clearer to me; the heroes we all need most is ourselves.

Today we will look at two questions

  • Why is important to be our own heroes?
  • How are we able to do it?

First, why it is important to be our own heroes?

Heroes that we interact with every day or admire from a distance really have helped us become the person that we are. They have been examples for us; they have led us and guided us. They have taught us what it takes to conquer life but what they cannot do…. is make us take that step. The truth is that life is like learning to ride a bike. People can help pick you up when you fall off, people can help accompany you but no one can tell you exactly how to do it. It is not because they don’t want to but because it is just the rule of the universe that the only person who walks our path is us.

No one is with us forever. There are heroes waiting to save us, our parents and so on and that we have to be grateful for that but at some points in life, we will have to handle things on our own and at some points, no one can tell us how to get back up when we fail. For that we have to look inward. That is the only person who will be with us at any circumstance in our lives; we are the only person who can hear all the little voices inside our head. And that’s the only person who truly knows…. where our heart belongs.

P: So it is crucial to be our own heroes because no matter how many people care for us and are there willing to help us, no one in this whole wide world can live our lives for us because…. no one is us.

Second, how we are able to do it?

You know what, oftentimes what we fail to realize is that there’s a hero that lies in all of us. Just believe in yourself, I don’t know how many time you’ve heard this but it truly is important. Too often we think we need people to tell us we are beautiful to feel beautiful, we need people to tell us we are smart to feel smart, we need people to tell us we are special to feel special. But let me tell you, we don’t need anyone to tell us something in order for us to see it in ourselves. When we do so, we are underestimating ourselves, we are giving other people the power over us. We are waiting for someone else to save us.

Look at the people we called our heroes: What makes them our heroes? What qualities do they have? Too often we bring up all the reason why we respect and admire a certain person but too often we are never willing to be it. If we respect a person because he or she is brave then be brave, if we love someone because he or she is kind and selfless then be kind and selfless. If someone is a hero for you because he or she never gives up on you, then don’t give up on yourself.

Therefore, to be our own heroes we’ve just got to have faith in the person who stares back at us in the mirror and look at the qualities that makes someone our hero and expect that of ourselves.

If there’s one thing I want you to take back home today, it would be: Next time you look into the mirror, make sure that you see the person you, yourself can depend on, make sure that you are able to say to that person you see, “YOU ARE MY HERO”

If this speech inspired you and you would like to learn more about The Public Speaking and Debate Club please contact: Mr Sunheng Sok or email

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