Kriti Gaur (‘24) wins big at international speech competition


Tejasvini Ramesh

AV Speech Team Captain Kriti Gaur (’24) competes internationally at speech competitions.

In fifth grade, Kriti Gaur (‘24) hated speech and debate. But as she continued, that resentment flourished into a passion. Now a junior, Gaur is captain of the Speech Team at Amador. This month, she won an event at the Tournament of Champions (TOC), a renowned international speech competition.

“Tournament of Champions is UK-based, and it was basically many of the top speech competitors from around the world competing against each other. I was so surprised when I won, and it feels really great because I know all the work I put in paid off,” said Gaur. 

Within Speech & Debate, there are sub-events including humorous interpretation, original comedy, and dramatic duet acting. At TOC, Gaur competed in the impromptu event, where participants receive a topic and have two minutes to prepare a five minute speech. 

“My favorite part is competing. I think there’s a negative stigma that [speech] is just saying random stuff. It’s actually pretty cool because you really have to know what you’re talking about,” said Gaur. 

In preparation, Gaur spent six hours every weekend researching topics for her event. On top of it, she would attend Amador’s Speech & Debate club, practicing again with the team every Tuesday.

“When she comes, she really brings her all. She’s very dedicated. When she has a goal, she really dedicates all her energy and she’s really focused,” said AV Speech & Debate President Erika Yu (‘23).

Unlike other events, impromptu speech requires contestants to create and deliver their speeches on the spot. As a result, Gaur had to think outside the box for how she would formulate the content of her speech.

“To prepare, I’d research four or five people and events and found a bunch of anecdotes that I could plug into anything — for example, Coco Chanel and Chef Boyardee. Then, I inserted them into almost every topic,” said Gaur.

In addition to helping Amador’s speech team, Gaur’s passion for speech extends from just competing. Outside of the club, Gaur tutors a small group of students and teaches them strategies they can use for their demeanor, voice, and overall content.

“She’s very good at keeping me engaged. She teaches a lot while also making it fun,” said Emma Wang (‘24)

In the future, Gaur hopes to continue teaching speech. Her goal is to encourage more students to compete and build confidence in themselves. 

“Speech is one of the best things ever. It also really helps with talking and socializing. I was really introverted in fifth grade, and speech helped me a lot with coming out of my shell,” said Gaur.