Taking the floor: workshop helps boys learn the basics of public speaking

Taking the floor: workshop helps boys learn the basics of public speaking

Twenty-four boys from Year 10 had the opportunity to learn how to compose a speech from scratch and then deliver it with confidence in front of classmates in a day-long workshop at the School.

The boys learned about the importance of the three corners of the Communication Triangle – delivery, content and structure – in making a successful speech. They gained insights into overcoming nerves and tips on how to listen and give constructive feedback to each other.

The event, run by Jack Petchey’s ‘Speak Out’ Challenge!, was led by author, coach and speaker Hari Kalymnios. Four participants from each of the six forms in Year 10 were nominated for the workshop by their form teachers.

Extra-curricular Enrichment Tutor Oliver O’Gorman, who organised the day, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for a select group of Year 10 boys to develop their confidence speaking in front of their peers, as well as learning some top tips for public speaking.”

Jack Petchey’s ‘Speak Out’ Challenge! is supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation, which is named after entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Jack Petchey and was established with a brief to inspire and motivate young people across London and Essex. The challenge involves an annual public-speaking competition with a number of rounds culminating – in normal non-Covid years – in a Grand Final held in London’s West End at which participants speak in front of an audience of around 1,000,  including MPs, mayors and other leaders.

The workshop, which was held in QE’s Conference Centre, included an opportunity for each boy to deliver a speech to the group on any subject of their choice.

One of the boys involved, Abdullah Khalid, said: “I really enjoyed participating. I learnt how to control my breathing whilst doing a speech, which I found really useful. I hope we can do something similar again!”

Those reaching the final held on the day as part of an assembly were Victor Shyptur, speaking on Winston Churchill, Ethan Nauth (the US election), Aman Padala (Leaving things to the last minute) and Moniejan Pagareethan (Laziness). Topics selected during the day covered areas including mental health, politics, sleep, video games and social media.

The workshop leader, Mr Kalymnios, has a degree in Physics and has worked in sectors from Law to financial services, and for employers from Accenture to Sainsbury’s. He also spent three years travelling the world.

He became fascinated with what it took to become a high-performance leader and has studied experts from a wide-ranging set of industries, as well as looking at topics from nutrition, practical psychology and personal development, to science, spirituality and business.