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Jack Petchey Speak Out Competition 2019

Jack Petchey Speak Out Competition 2019

Every year we select approximately 30 Year 10 students to take part in the Jack Petchey Speak Out competiton. This year, on Thursday 7th February, our selected students spent the day participating in a public speaking workshop with Mrs Crickmore and a public speaking coach called Ore as a part of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge which is a programme run by The Speakers Trust and is funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation.

During the day, our students spent the morning learning about how to communicate easily with confidence and enjoyment as well as engaging an audience. By the end of the morning, each of them had written their own 1 minute speech on a topic of their choice, which included topics such as the importance of music, pressure, facing fears and failure being the key to success. In the afternoon, each of the students took part in a competition where they presented their speech to the rest of the group. All of the students rose to the challenge exceptionally well and spoke with confidence, fluency while also capturing their audience’s interest. All the students who took part in the workshop should be congratulated for their efforts. They were a group of highly motivated students who threw themselves fully into the experience. They had very little time in which to complete their speech and yet all of the delivered well prepared and structured speeches. The students’ behaviour was impeccable and the quality of their speeches was impressive. It was very difficult to choose a winner and runner up as the standard was so high.

Eventually, James Russell was named as our winner with his speech entitled "Be Childish" and Eden Baldock was named as our runner up. James went on to perform at the regional final which was held at Chelmsford County High School for Girls on Thursday 20th April.

James’s speech, "Be Childish," was a superb reminder of how young people feel the pressure to grow up too quickly and that it is important to embrace childhood as it is over all too soon. Some of the feedback James received on the night from Teresa Dukes, one of the event organisers, was that "he made me want to be a child again! I was so proud watching him up there on the stage enjoying the spot light. He is a fantastic speaker with more confidence than he realises and I think he thoroughly enjoyed it." Although James did not win, his performance stood out and he had audience engaged and laughing in all of the right places. Well done James!

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