Obrázek článku The Show-Off Experience

How was our time at the 2024 Show-Off contest at the Tomas Bata University in Zlín? Find out in the following, purely English, article!

To briefly summarize the concept, we each had to present on one of six given topics for precisely 7 minutes. After that, we were asked several questions by the expert commission, which we also had to answer promptly, given our time of three minutes and the fact that quick and constructive reactions were one of the few criteria for the best presenter.

Jan Novotný (3. E) and Lenka Vaverková (5. E), accompanied by Irena Kutačová and Kateřina Maňasová, met up at half past seven on the 20th of March at the bus station in Valašské Meziříčí, anticipating the two-hour journey to Zlín, while rehearsing the speeches for our presentations.

After some time, we finally arrived in Zlín, and following a surprisingly short walk to the university, we were greeted by a couple of organisers, who gave us name tags, therefore getting access to the mountains of free food and drinks offered. Specialty teas, freshly baked cookies, cold cuts or coffee - pick a personal preference!

Anyways, we had more than enough time to prepare ourselves, given that we arrived at 10, while Lenka presented at 11 and Jan at 12. We were slightly stressed, but had to overcome that for our better good anyway. Lenka went on to present about mental health and how to keep it – revealing that things as simple as healthy food and enjoyable hobbies made for a better you. She ended up nicely fitting in the time limit, exquisitely answering questions as well. Jan presented after the lunch break and spoke about the pros and cons of AI – touching a bit on its inner workings, before talking about a revolution in robotics, contrasted by environmental impacts of AI or the possibility of it gaining sentience. He was also praised for an especially authentic British pronunciation, although running out of time before finishing the summary.

After that, we got to watch the rest of our fellow competitors, which was quite interesting and educating, with a lot of the presentations having amazing qualities and immaculate creativity, although the same three topics (AI, mental health, ethics) kept on repeating over and over. To be honest, I'm not even surprised no one chose to analyse the topic of immigration. Eventually, all 12 people had finished, promptly being expelled from the classroom to let the expert commission decide on the winner. The same happened in the university category, resulting in a heavily crowded hallway, even more constricted by the readied up prizes stacked up on the sides of the room... At least we got to enjoy our third and fourth free espressos!

We ended up waiting a full hour, however we did get the results announcement eventually. We all gathered up in the circle to make some space for the organisers in the middle. Then, a lottery ensued – everyone ending up under third place got some randomised prizes, including a shirt and some coupons. Lenka got drawn as well, ending up in a beautiful fourth place (a nice present for her eighteenth birthday, coincidentally happening that day)! Jan ended up not receiving anything so far, therefore having a guaranteed place on the podium. After some suspense, he was revealed to be in second place! The higher prizes included not just a shirt and small coupons, but also coupons of higher worth (up to a 1000 crowns!), a full kilogram of tomatoes from a local farm along with some freeze-dried ones, some ten perfume testers, and the most absurd of all, a 1x1,5 meter chair mat, apparently not to scratch up carpets or something... it was hilarious trying to carry it home afterwards.

Overall, we ended up leaving Zlín enriched by many experiences, making the first day of spring a lot nicer for us.


Jan Novotný


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