Speak now or forever hold your peace! Year 10 Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge

Asking our students to speak for 3 minutes is usually an easy request - the challenge is getting them to stop!

But during the Speak Out workshop, put on by the Jack Petchey Foundation, our Year 10s were given the more specific task of creating speeches about various topics to practice their public speaking, and learn what makes them worth listening to.

Course Leader Kim said: 'What we are doing is essentially giving young people the skills to be able to communicate effectively. It is core life skills – if you’re able to introduce yourself in any capacity people will listen to you.

In a couple of years you are going to college or university and you are fighting for spaces and you need to make sure that you’re the one that’s memorable, you’re the one that’s made the right first impression.  It also allows you to acknowledge that you have weaknesses, we've all got them, and that’s Ok. What do you need to do to get it to a place that it’s not a problem?'

Tia, pictured above receiving feedback on her speech from her peers, feels it will help her with future school projects:

'The workshop really helped me out because if I was to do speeches in assembly I would know what to say and how to act as well. I would be more confident and be myself.'

Cameron explained: We had to do impromptu speeches and a 1 minute speech about ourselves as well. The skills I can take from that are really good that will help me be able to speak to people and conduct myself and what skills I can use so that people will listen to me and not think ‘Oh I’m just another person talking.’

Jake enjoyed the fun activities they were given: 'When she gave us a hard question it was a good way to put us on the spot and really make us think because you’re not always going to have time to plan something.

My question was was ‘Why it would be good if I was born a woman?’ I said because their voices are much nicer than boys and people like to listen to them!'


Aaliyah & Fatima appreciated the unconventional techniques Kim used:

'She made us think on our feet and make us convince other people what we were saying - we had to tell her that she was fat in a very good way which was really hard!'

'This was to teach us to start off with something wonderful, then something to improve and then say something nice so it sandwiches the ‘What to improve’. Then the feedback is good and not off putting.'