Alvaro Crespo Acero
Alvaro Crespo Acero is 18. Currently a student of education, he attended a bilingual high school in Madrid. Winner of the eloquence competition organised in Italy in April 2019, he was supposed to take part in the “À mots ouverts” (“Open Words”) competition at the Institut de France in March.
How would you define eloquence?
I see eloquence as the ability to change the way others think. So an eloquent person can do a lot: they can decide what is right and what is wrong and their audience will believe them because they are, well, eloquent.
Eloquence is a great power over others, which is not always manageable. And it's very difficult to know if it's the person or their arguments that are convincing. Speech is a weapon – used every day for example by politicians. However, it is not a destructive but rather a constructive weapon that everyone should have the right to use, or at least should know how to use. In short, eloquence is for me a right, a power and an opportunity.
Is French in your opinion an eloquent language? What does it mean to you?
I think that eloquence does not depend on the language but on the person. An eloquent person can convince in any language!
The French language was a very important part of my childhood and my youth. I studied French for five years in primary school, then was taught in French for six years in a bilingual high school. It was thanks to the French language that I made most of my trips and extracurricular experiences, which allowed me to meet many people.
Why did you want to take part in this public speaking contest in Italy?
I took part in this eloquence competition through my high school. And as I said, I think eloquence should be a right. I also saw this competition as a challenge, an opportunity to exceed my limits by speaking in public.
Alvaro Crespo Acero won the public speaking competition organised in Italy in 2019 with the support of the Institut français.
The international public speaking competition organised at the Institut de France in March 2020 and the public speaking competitions set up around the world by the French diplomatic network are one of the measures of the presidential programme "Ambitions for the French Language and Multilingualism" launched by Emmanuel Macron in March 2018. The organisation of public speaking competitions and training in collaboration with the Eloquentia Association are supported by the Institut français. More information about the "A mots ouverts" competition
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