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It’s FREE and EASY to take part in the ESU Festival of Speaking!

Erin Young

University student

Watch my video


The ESU helps young people become confident communicators and, in these testing times when most schooling is online, students will benefit from developing their speaking skills more than ever before.

All students from primary upwards are invited to film themselves in a short video (1-5 minutes) delivering a speech, a poem, a monologue etc and post it on a social media platform of their choice using the hashtag #esufestivalofspeaking.

You are free to talk about whichever subject you choose but if you’re stuck for ideas, this month’s theme is: ‘Female trailblazers’.

We are releasing three related themes, each aimed at a slightly difference audience, to ignite thought and discussion.

Mace/Debating: This house believes that film and television studios should significantly increase the number of female villains in their productions.

PSC/Speaking: ‘If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.’ Margaret Thatcher

Performing Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s strong-willed women – from the ruthlessness and ambition of Lady Macbeth and Margaret of Anjou to the confidence and wit of Rosalind, Viola and Portia, and Kate in his controversial Taming of the Shrew, it is often said that Shakespeare gave his best lines to women. Do give us some of these great performances (and boys, you can play women too, just as in Shakespeare’s day!).

Primary Schools: School uniforms should be non-gendered.

Simply film yourself telling us about your response and post it on a social media platform of your choice with the hashtag #ESUfestivalofspeaking.

We look forward to seeing your contributions.

See other entries here and remember, this is not a competition and there are no winners – it is a celebration of the voices of young people – so there are no rules that have to be obeyed.

For some general information on how to take part and how to make your video, please click here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at


Lend me your ears

Watch Che Kadwill with staff and students of St Thomas More School talk about all the different ways they can get involved in the Festival

There are three main ways to get involved. Whichever you choose, remember to post your film on the social media platform of your choice using the hashtag #esufestivalofspeaking


Tell us about something you care about, or read us a poem you love.

Find out more


Film yourself performing a monologue or duologue from any of Shakespeare’s plays.

Find out more


Show us that it is possible to bring your family together through argument!

Find out more

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Plan. Practise. Perform. Post. Wherever you post, don’t forget to use the hashtag #esufestivalofspeaking

Help give more young people the speaking and listening skills and cultural understanding they need to thrive


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