The Orange public speaking contest to communicate effectively

Is mastering the art of public speaking becoming an essential component of a successful career?
Beyond the technical skills that businesses look for, it is now human or soft skills that make all the difference when hiring an applicant, regardless of whether they are highly experienced or a recent graduate.

And communication is often among the most sought after skills.
Orange is a strong believer in this as the 2020 edition of the public-speaking contest was open to employees in its 26 countries for the first time.

A look back at a contest organised in exceptional circumstances.

250 participants, 100 présélectionnés,
12 finalistes et 4 gagnants

For the 2020 edition of the public speaking contest, which was entirely digital, 250 French- and English-speaking employees took on the challenge of reaching the shortlist, 100 of whom took part in the first round.

The Orange employees gave the Audience Award to Ousmane, Orange Senegal, from among 12 finalists whose performances were uploaded to the Group intranet portal several days before the grand final.

Hats off to Franck – Orange Digital Center Manager, Orange Côte d’Ivoire, Farid – Sales Advisor, Orange France, and Katerina – Customer Project & Local Sourcing Manager, Orange Business Services Greece. Their speeches won over a jury of public speaking experts made up of Isabelle Chatagnier, public speaking professor, Eloy Verstraten, professor and actor at the Cours Florent, and Aminata Keita, from Orange Guinea, the winner of the 2019 public speaking contest.

The four finalists had to debate for or against the following topics: “Should you stop someone who dreams of flying?” for Ousmane, “Is culture a good like any other?” for Franck, “Digital and ecology: are they compatible?” for Farid, and “Is social responsibility of companies sincere?” for Katerina.


For purposes of persuasion the art of speaking relies wholly upon [...] the winning of our hearers' favour, and the rousing of their feelings.

Roman statesman, philosopher and rhetorical theorist

Effective communication, a key skill for Orange

Long reserved to higher education, the public speaking contest has now stepped into the world of business. Orange is the only CAC 40 company to have launched this initiative as early as 2017 for the communicators throughout its footprint. This contest gives Orange employees an opportunity to acquire - via this experience - a key skill that will be useful throughout their career.

This is not an innate quality: it must be learned thanks to different methods. Beyond speaking, to be a good orator, you must be able to combine substance and form, in other words work on your posture as much as your speech itself!

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