The prestigious English Speaking Union (ESU) Churchill Public Speaking competition took place on Wednesday 30th November. Mrs Manning, Head of Public Speaking, talks about the success of the students below.
“This round was held virtually and we were delighted to have two teams in the competition; Faisal Junaid, Erin McGregor and Sienna Lear-Gill (all Fifth Form) making up one team and Grace Manning-Greene, Simone Rai and Angus Brown (all Fourth Form), making up the other team. I am also grateful to Musa Sarfraz (Fifth Form) for being part of the team.
As Chairperson, Simone was up first. She had taken lucky team mascot, Polly the corgi, to the event; the judges praised Simone for her informal manner and her ability to relax the audience. Faisal then delivered a very well-structured speech which discussed whether patriotism damages international relations. Battling a sore throat and losing his voice at times, Faisal was praised for his tone and his ability to support his ideas with examples from the conflict in Ukraine and the Kashmir dispute. Angus then asked numerous questions to open up the debate; he did this most effectively and was praised for asking about the role of technology.
Next up was Erin in her role as Chairperson; she started the proceedings perfectly making the audience relax with a joke about a former Prime Minister! Grace then presented her speech which discussed the reasons why pop musicians are more rich and famous than classical musicians. The judges enjoyed listening to Grace’s personal anecdote about going to her first ever concert and she was praised for her informal, chatty tone. Grace’s speech concluded that despite classical music having numerous benefits, pop music had a much wider appeal. Finally Sienna asked some insightful questions about the topic, asking more about classical music as well as other genres. She was praised for asking some effective follow up questions.
A huge congratulations to both teams who are through to the next round, which will be held in February 2023. Thanks also to Mr Ellmers for his support on the night.”