ESU – Churchill Public Speaking Competition: Regional Final

11 March 2021

Congratulations to Thomas J, Milly M, Oscar J and Mayumi S for taking part in the ESU Churchill Public Speaking regional final on Tuesday.


Although not proceeding to the next round, they all did incredibly well, gaining excellent feedback from the judges.  Milly M did especially well, winning the “Best Questioner’s Award” for her insightful and eloquent questions.


Well done everyone; you were a credit to the school. Thomas J has written a review of the event, which you will find below:


After being introduced to the proceedings and judges, we heard the first speech from the speaker of Cheadle Hulme School talking on the subject of “Why gambling needs to be banned” followed by the speaker from Altrincham Grammar School talking about “Social media’s responsibility in the political playing field”. Our speaker, Oscar, was then introduced by the Chairperson from Manchester High School; Oscar began discussing the topic “Man is born free yet is everywhere in chains” said by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and acting as a very topical subject at the moment. He talked very emotively about both the chains we constrain ourselves in and the chains we are constrained in by society, engaging the audience through various anecdotes and managing to link this into our current social and economic climate. His speech was very clear and well thought out. He then went on to answer questions put forward by the questioner from Manchester High School who asked about the chains that restrict the privileged such as the Royal family and how some people’s restrictions are another person’s freedom. This speech was then summed up by the Chairperson, who also commended Oscar on his impactful speech. Our Chairperson, Mayumi, then went on to introduce the speaker from Altrincham Grammar School, talking about how “One has a moral responsibility to challenge unjust law”, a quote from Martin Luther King. Our questioner, Milly, then asked some very interesting questions; about how we distinguish between breaking the law and fighting unjust law, and how we can fight unjust law without breaking the law. Milly’s questions brought up some thought-provoking discussions and challenged the speaker to think more deeply about some interesting ideas. To finish off the speaker’s speech, Mayumi cleverly summed it up by bringing together all the ideas the speaker had talked about and laid it out simply for the audience. Lastly, we heard from the speaker at Altrincham Grammar School discussing why “People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right”, a quote from Albus Percival Dumbledore. After five very insightful speeches we had a break to allow the judges to make their decisions. The judges gave some general tips for improvement and gave awards for best Chairperson, best speaker and best questioner. We were very happy to hear that Milly was awarded the best questioner. Unfortunately, we didn’t get through to the next round with Altrincham Grammar School team 2 coming in second place and Manchester High School coming first. We then went into a breakout room to receive individual feedback and, although we didn’t win, we learnt a lot from the experience, and we all took away useful advice to help improve our public speaking. Many thanks to Mrs. Nield for giving us this opportunity.