Public Speaking Competition 2023

Senior School
10 Feb 23

Last Friday, a number of students travelled to St. Edmund’s School, Canterbury for the second round of the ESU Churchill Public Speaking Competition. Miss Manning, Head of Public Speaking, writes about the competition below.

“We had two teams competing: Faisal J, Sienna L and Erin M (all Fifth Form) made up one team and Angus B, Grace M (both Fourth Form) and Musa S (Fifth Form), made up the other. I am also grateful to Simone R (Fourth Form) who was a reserve.

This was the first face-to-face public speaking competition since the pandemic. However, due to the train strike, although we had a live audience, the students also had to make use of technology as the judges were online!

First up was Faisal who was discussing whether patriotism damages international relations. Faisal expressed himself clearly and confidently, drawing on examples from the war in Ukraine and the Kashmir conflict. Furthermore, he demonstrated his wider knowledge of the topic by competently answering questions from the Kent College questioner and the audience.

Next up was the speaker from St. Edmund’s School, who was discussing the harmful effects of social media. Erin acted as Chair, with Sienna as the questioner. Erin relaxed the audience with a joke, as well as keeping proceedings running on time. Then Sienna asked some insightful questions so that we could all learn more about the topic.

It was then time for Grace’s speech and her topic was classical and pop music. As well as explaining why pop stars are so highly paid, Grace discussed the various benefits of listening to both classical and pop music. The Chair and questioner from St. Edmunds’ School then worked with Grace to help her to explore the topic further.

Finally, it was time for the speaker from Kent College who was talking about the current waiting times in the NHS. Angus was the questioner and Musa was Chair, working with her. Angus asked many insightful questions so that we could have a greater understanding of the issues. Meanwhile, Musa used humour in his role as Chair.

The team from Kent College got through to the next round, but all of the Sutton Valence students should be commended for their excellent performance and enthusiasm for the competition.”