Congratulations to all the winners at the national final of the ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition, held at Churchill College Cambridge on 27 April. Over 1,000 students took part in the competition as a whole, which featured around 70 heats and branch finals and eight regional finals.
The largest public speaking competition in England and Wales, the standard was unsurprisingly high. ESU alumna and broadcaster Susie Fowler-Watt of BBC Look East has been a judge for the last four years and commented that this was the highest standard she had encountered to date. Baroness D’Souza, former Lord Speaker of the House of Lords and one of the other judges, was equally impressed.
Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham did particularly well, winning best team (pictured above) as well as best chair, in Matt Robyns-Landricombe, and best speaker in Eleanor Stiles. Advay Mehta from Newcastle-Under-Lyme School won best questioner and Rhys Griffiths from Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg won outstanding personality.
As well as seeing an increase in participant numbers and teams, we have also increased the number of state schools taking part on last year, as part of our ongoing strategy to extend opportunities to students who do not usually receive public speaking training in schools.
Our sincere thanks to all involved, especially all members and volunteers who gave their time and without whom we would not be able to run the competition.