The ESU's Public Speaking Competition for Key Stage 3 & 4 students (years 9-11) challenges students to engage with wide-ranging cross-curricular topics, whilst helping to meet National Curriculum speaking and listening targets. It is the largest public speaking competition in England and Wales.
Public speaking is a vital life skill that students will use throughout their academic careers and in their everyday lives. Participants leave the competition having built confidence and experience in articulating their ideas and sharing them with others.
The competition is open to schools in England and Wales. We have over 25 regional ESU branches up and down England and Wales running competition heats, so it is easy and convenient to get your school involved.
At the bottom of this page you'll find:
If you have any questions, please contact Lead Organiser Matthew Christmas at email@example.com
Each team consists of three students - a Chairperson, a Questioner and a Speaker. Each role demands different but complementary skills.
During each round of the competition, the Chairperson and Questioner from one school are randomly selected to present with the Speaker from another school.
The speaker talks on a pre-agreed topic for a maximum of five minutes. During that time they must articulate their argument and demonstrate a wide knowledge of their subject. The questioner then takes over, challenging the speaker on points within their speech or seeking clarification or further details. The chairperson's role is to open and close proceedings, introduce their team, manage questions from both the questioner and the audience, and keep things running to time.
The different roles are judged by three experienced judges, often alumni of the competition itself or from related walks of life.
The initial rounds of the competition take place in the autumn term and are run by our branches up and down the country. Once you have registered for the competition, you will be allocated to your nearest branch and they will be in contact to offer any assistance you may need.
Teams who are successful in their branch heats move on to regional heats. These take place in the spring term. Those who win their regional heats go through to the Grand Final at Churchill College, Cambridge which will be held on Saturday 27 April 2019.
For further information, you can download the key handbooks and other information in the Resources section below
Registration closes on Friday 19 October, so you may not hear from your Branch Public Speaking Coordinator for a little while. They will contact you as soon as dates for the competition heats are set, or earlier if we would like you to host a round and they'll also send you a list of speech topics to choose from.
Most heats and finals are hosted by schools and coordinated by ESU Branches.
So, you've registered to take part and are waiting for the heats to begin. In this section, you'll find weekly hints and tips on how you can best prepare for the competition with your class.
Come back each week to find the latest download, or look out for our emails with all of the details.
Don't forget, if you have any questions at any time, please get in touch with Matthew, our Public Speaking Competition lead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hints & tips #1 - Notes Download now
Hints & tips #2 - The Chairperson Download now
Hints & tips #3 - The Questioner Download now
Hints & tips #4 - Presenting Download now
Hints & tips #5 - Chairperson role Download now
Hints & tips #6 - The little things Download now
The ESU provides resources to help schools prepare for the Public Speaking Competition. These include guides to the competition format, and some skills-based activities.Student Handbook 2018-19