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Our lesson plans and activities will help you get talking in class, whatever the subject. Please click here to sign up for our schools’ newsletters

Liezel Closer is speaking to primary school pupils inside a classroom and listening to the tutor speaks.
Liezel Closer


This page is full of free resources to help you get your students speaking in class. Here you’ll find more on the key skill sets that oracy helps develop, plus activities, lesson plans and a host of ice-breaking games to help with our three national competitions – the ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition, the Schools’ Mace and Performing Shakespeare.

If you like what you see, sign up for our schools’ newsletter here to receive regular free resources in your inbox. Don’t forget too that we can provide CPD workshops on oracy teaching, as well as Discover Your Voice sessions fully tailored to your students’ needs.

For handbooks and specific information relating to individual competitions, please see the relevant page.


All our teaching, resources and competitions are underpinned by four key skill sets: Reasoning and Evidence; Listening and Response; Expression and Delivery and Organisation and Prioritisation.

Below you’ll find more information on each skill set, as well as free activity resources to practise each one. So whether you want to improve your students’ questioning skills, or to help them to structure their arguments more clearly, we have the resources you need.

Talking games

Need a quick ice-breaker at the beginning of a lesson?

Want the whole class to recap on what was covered last week – and enjoy it? These fun games can be used in any classroom – from maths and biology to history and RE – and are guaranteed to get everyone talking, and listening, to each other. Why not try one today and see how easy it is to bring oracy into your classroom?

Public Speaking Tips

Polls show that many people list public speaking as their number one fear, ahead even of our fear of death. But with a little know-how and, crucially, some practice, speaking in public can become something that anyone, student or adult, can actively enjoy and look forward to.

On the links below, comedian and ESU alumnus Rory Bremner tells us what he learned from the Public Speaking Competition, which he won in 1979, and we share some hints and tips for students taking the competition’s roles of speaker, questioner or chair.



Any teacher knows that their students have a lot to say but that they don’t always have the skills with which to express themselves.

Debating is a great way of practising speaking and listening skills, either through a debate club or through incorporating debate activities into your lesson plans for other subjects. If you’ve never tried debating before, or you’re not sure how it can help you, here’s where to start!

Debate formats for schools

By asking students to take different sides in an argument and then to justify those sides, debate is a great way of improving speaking and listening skills, as well as critical thought and prioritisation skills.

Debates can be as simple or as formal as you like, from a fun balloon debate on a relevant topic to a more structured town hall meeting which gives students an insight into how many public decisions are made. Competitive debates have an extra level of ‘spice’ or kudos attached, with the prospect of winning a motivating factor for many students.

Performing resources

Teaching students to perform, to project their voices and to inhabit and empathise with different characters has so many benefits, on and off the stage.

Below, you’ll find some examples of monologues and duologues perfect for our Performing Shakespeare competition, and we’ve also asked some professional actors to tell us about their favourite speeches too. We hope you find them inspiring!

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