Public speakers just pipped at post

A QE Sixth Form team was narrowly beaten in the regional final of a public-speaking competition. Year 12 boys Miles Huglin, Akshat Joshi and Pranesh Varadarajan were runners-up in the English-Speaking Union Churchill National Public Speaking Competition for Schools held at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Miles, who was last year named ‘best speaker’ at the regional final, this year took on the role of Speaker, whilst Pranesh and Akshat acted as Chair and Questioner respectively.

The boys were taking part in the invitation-only Sixth Form competition set up in recent years for previous winners and runners-up in the main competition, which is for Years 10 & 11.

Miles spoke on the subject Higher education is only as valuable as the job it brings in the end, whilst Pranesh and Akshat presented and supported a speaker discussing The abolition of juries in criminal trials.

Nisha Mayer, Head of Academic Enrichment, said: “They competed against five other teams representing various parts of the South East Region and missed out on an outright win only marginally, losing out to Colchester Royal Grammar School.”

""The role of the Chairperson is: to introduce the Speaker and his or her topic; to call on the Questioner and the audience members to put questions to the Speaker, and to summarise the overall presentation as part of his or her conclusion. The role of the Questioner is to ask probing questions with a view to eliciting more information from the Speaker and expanding the discussion as a whole.

Established in 1960, the competition provides an opportunity for young people to develop both their confidence and their skills in effective spoken English. Specifically, it enhances their skills in speech-writing, speaking and presentation, as well as their ability to think analytically on their feet. The competition also broadens pupils’ knowledge of topical issues.