Describe a well-known person you like or admire - Cue Card # 636

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a well-known person you like or admire.

You should say:

  • who this person is
  • what this person has done
  • why this person is well-known

and explain why you admire this person.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]



Model Answer 1:

Having born and raised in one of the New York suburbs at the house of a dentist father in 1984, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg made his mark at an elementary school by getting interested in computer programming. But, little did anybody know at that time that the little “computer whiz” would revolutionize the concept of social media networking by creating a thing called “facebook.com” in 2004. Whatever followed after that is just 'history'.

I would like to thank you for this nice topic, and in my opinion, Zuckerberg is one of the most prolific and successful programmers and entrepreneurs ever, and I admire him so much. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg became so famous that Time Magazine declared this American technology entrepreneur and philanthropist as "person of the year" in 2010.

Having managed to connect more than 1 billion people among themselves one way or another, today, the social media “Mughal” has every right to claim his place in history as the “greatest web entrepreneur” of all time, some would say. Living in a house of more than 5000 square feet, with a price tag of about $7.3 million, in a town called Palo Alto, California, Mark Zuckerberg became the youngest self-made billionaire with a net worth of more than $65.4 billion today.

Admiring a person for offering the world a new horizon of virtual reality by inventing a thing called “Facebook” in order to turn this world into a small place is easy. I could also easily admire his clear way of thinking which motivated him to wear the same T-shirt every day so that he didn’t have to waste his time in deciding small things such as what to wear, or what to eat for breakfast every day. But what I admire the most about this person is his risk-taking abilities (dropping out from Harvard University or turning down very lucrative offers from companies like Microsoft and AOL, just to name a few) and innovative ideas with a clear sense of vision in his mind so that he could finally deliver something really, really amazing to this world.  

Finally, one couldn’t help admiring a “philanthropist” like Mark Zuckerberg, who is already a living legend in his mid 30’s, when he decided to donate at least 50% of his business shares- worth about $65 billion now – to promote equality and human development in the world. Now, how many people can do that!



Sample Answer 2:

We all have our favourite personalities whom we respect and love from the bottom of our heart. While some of them are friends and family whom we meet almost every day, a few of them are renowned sportsmen or famous 'silver screen stars' whom we have never met. Interestingly, I have a list of my favourite personalities from different arenas whom I follow on social networking platforms and I admire them for their talents, skills, contributions, philanthropic activities, and success stories.

One such famous person whom I greatly admire is Lionel Messi, one of the greatest football players of all time. He is a well-respected sportsman whom I have been following in news and Twitter for more than eight years. I scarcely miss a football match in which he plays. He is a wonder-boy in football and the favourite sportsman of millions of football fans.

Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a "forward". Messi has won five Ballon d'Or awards, two FIFA Club World Cup golden ball, a record five European Golden Shoes, nine La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, six Copas del Rey and many more. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds many other enviable records in the professional football.

He has scored over 680 senior career goals for his club and country. Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, he is world-renowned and inspiration to many aspiring football players. Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer and he currently lives in Castelldefels, a village near Barcelona.

Messi has earned my deep admiration primarily for his amiable character, and formidable skills. Throughout his career, he has been involved in charitable efforts aimed at vulnerable children, a commitment that stems in part from the medical difficulties he faced in his childhood. Since 2004, he has contributed his time and finances to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). One of the highest-paid sportsmen of all time, he is a legend in football history and deserved our respect and admiration. I admire him more than any other football player I know or have known.

 

Part 3: Details Discussion

Discussion Topic: Famous people in your country

Q. What kind of people become famous people these days?
Answer: Well, in this age of media and publicity, anybody can be famous overnight, even though such fame may not last long. But, generally speaking, people, who are role models or have the potential to be role models, become famous these days. Such role models would be movie stars, sports superstars, technology “gurus”, entrepreneurs, and business tycoons, among others. These types of people, mentioned above, become role models or remain famous, not because of just some luck, but because of some hard work, determination and discipline.

Q. Is this different from the kind of achievement that made people famous in the past? In what way?
Answer: No, I wouldn’t really say that any “substantive or qualitative” difference exists between the achievements of the people in the past and the achievements of the present time, meaning people needed to try and work just as hard in the past just as it is today. Of course, the achievements in the past wouldn’t necessarily attract as much media coverage or attention as it is today. Besides, some people would also probably argue that people in the past would strive more to be famous and successful in the greater cause of humanity, world fraternity and philanthropy, but in the present day, people’s success or fame are more geared toward “individualism” or personal gratification.

Q. How do you think people will become famous in the future?
Answer: Nobody, for sure, can tell how people would become famous in the future, but one thing is for sure more and more people would try to use media, or I should say “misuse” media, especially the internet, to showcase their success and become famous, quickly and easily. But, critically speaking, I think that in the future, people would have more and more uncommon and unconventional issues, such as environmental activism and sexual “revolution”, to thump on in order to become famous.
 

Discussion Topic: Being in the public eye

Q. What are the good things about being famous? Are there any disadvantages?
Answer: I think we all want to be famous in one way or another because being famous has some distinct advantages. One such advantage is that famous people usually have a large fan base with some die-hard fans who would be ready to do anything for their role models or idols. They can also get many favourable business deals while making easy money. It also comes with social importance and prestige.

But, being famous has some disadvantages too. One such disadvantage is that they are always in the spotlight, and as such, they have almost no or very limited privacy. Another problem is that famous people can easily get detached from the “grim” realities of life while becoming used to some destructive lifestyles.

Q. How does the media in your country treat famous people?
Answer: Media in my country are not any different from other countries as they also compete with each other to collect every bit of news and rumour about famous people. Sometimes, they even try to treat famous people like “royalties”, purely because that would get the media more circulation, business and profits. Besides, sometimes I think that the media in my country are very powerful because they can make somebody a “hero” and turn others into “villains” overnight.

Q. Why do you think ordinary people are interested in the lives of famous people?
Answer: In my humble opinion, ordinary people become interested in the lives of famous people for two reasons: number one reason is that they probably get too much caught up with the struggles and grim realities of their lives, and learning about the life of the famous people can be a form of entertainment for them.

Another reason could be that they actually look for some sort of inspiration from the life of those famous people and try to become like them in order to become successful. After all, famous and successful people can teach us a lot of things about life. 

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Rossana Cavagnera
Write about a famous person.