Public Speaking Competition

Master Susan Fey presenting a highly commended to Syeda Munae
Master Susan Fey presenting a highly commended to Syeda Munae

The next annual Public Speaking Competition for students aged 14-16 for London Schools will be held

Date: Monday, 25 March 2019

Time: 5.45 – 8.30/8.45 pm (approx.) NB Please arrive by 5.30pm for a prompt start at 5.45pm

Place: Anglia Ruskin University, 19 Charterhouse Street, London EC1N 6RA, courtesy of our Hon. Treasurer, Mr Ravi Gill  

Please contact Pam Taylor (Upper Warden) at if you are interested in this event.




Report on The Worshipful Company of Educators: Public Speaking Competition 2018

On Monday March 19th, a packed house of around 100 gathered at Anglia Ruskin University, by courtesy of Hon Treasurer Ravi Gill, including some 40+ Educators as well as pupils, parents and friends. They heard a wide range of excellent speeches from the 14 exceptionally mature and confident 14-16 year-olds – a tribute to their generation. The judges (The Master, Court Assistant Sir Deian Hopkin and Honorary Liveryman Francis Birkin, who chaired the panel) had a thankless task selecting just four, but awarded the prizes as follows:


Winner:                      Ishy Levy, Merchant Taylors’ School:               Language and its Unavoidable

Importance in the Modern World


Joint runners-up:      Lucia  Mugena-Aide, William Perkin School  The Power of Young People

George Browne, Latymer Upper School         Happiness is Supporting the Underdog


Highly commended: Syeda Munaa, Mulberry School                        The Benefits of Welfare




The variety of subjects matched the consistent quality of the speakers, as the following list of the other ten speakers underlines:

Olivia Grenyer              James Allen’s Girls’ School                          Ten Thousand Hours a Genius

Rosie Lowndes              Grey Coat Hospital                                         The One Question

Will Bettridge               Merchant Taylors’ School                             The Importance of Facts in Today’s


Anna Briggs                    City of London School for Girls                    Only an Hour Apart: Life in the City

and the Country

Yun Zhang                     Grey Coat Hospital                                          Today will Change Your Life

Aamaal Malik                James Allen’s Girls’ School                           Competition: a Race you Can’t Win?

Divna Edrovska             William Perkin School                                     What is Democracy?

Anna Stachniak            Latymer Upper School                                   Dear Future Generations

Zara Ingram                   City of London School for Girls                    Why Recycling is a Bad Idea

Thamina Choudhury   Mulberry School                                               Tear Down the Ivory Towers!


The contrast between the Competition’s previous venerable home at Gresham’s College, oozing history with its medieval panelling, and the spacious and splendid new buildings of Anglia Ruskin University was striking. Everyone – teens and adults alike – thoroughly appreciated the warm and welcoming atmosphere. The admirable behind-the-scenes preparation by Anita Virik and her team, which included refreshments in a large adjacent room, both beforehand and at the interval, ensured that everyone felt well catered for in all senses.

The speakers showed commendable resilience, not least over the tricky question of whether to use a microphone and over the other type of tricky question which was fired at them by a member of the audience, with fellow-competitors rapidly entering into the spirit of things. The ability to be agile on one’s feet in response to puzzling posers is a key element of such occasions.

While the excellent refreshments were enjoyed, with much lively mingling of students and audience, the excellent trio of judges, chaired by Francis Bergin, deliberated. In the process, they realised how high the speakers’ marks were and hence rediscovered the familiar difficulties faced of picking one winner from an exceptionally closely-fought contest. However, none of those present could have failed to appreciate the outstanding quality of the three trophy-winners, while equally applauding some exceptionally good ‘near misses’. For those following the competition over the past eleven years, it is particularly striking that so many speakers are learning the lessons annually reinforced by the judges’ feedback, and underlined brilliantly by this year’s Chairman: eye contact is now a really strong feature of many speakers; very few now ‘read’ sections – and this year there were several who spoke completely without notes; bravely coming forward to take the stage and hence employing a wide range of facial and body gestures to reinforce their ideas.

Court Assistant Sir Deian Hopkin and, the Master Educator when presenting the prizes, professed themselves entranced by the quality of the speeches. Warm thanks were expressed to Anglia Ruskin for being such splendid and thoughtful hosts; and the Lower Warden, Pam Taylor, was congratulated on maintaining – and, in the eyes of many, surpassing the standard of previous years’ competition.

David Taylor, Past Master


Quotations from those attending:

What a fantastic evening yesterday; a most enthralling and memorable occasion.

The competition is a real jewel in the Company’s crown and never fails to entertain and educate all those present. (Educator)

Another winning evening! I say this every year but the standard DOES get better year on year! (Educator)


Huge thanks to you for such an amazing Public Speaking Competition.  The location seemed to bring the students more to the forefront, which was delightful. (Educator)

We thoroughly enjoyed the competition; it was seamlessly organised as ever and we would definitely like to participate again next year. (Teacher)

Thank you again for organising another, even more fabulous and larger competition. (Teacher)

As I’ve said many times before, this is in my view the best pound for pound public speaking competition in town. Thank you for continuing to organise what I know is an ever expanding operation each year. (Teacher)

I really enjoyed it. The competition was very well put together and it was a fantastic experience.

All the speeches were very unique and all the speakers were very confident.  (Year 10 Speaker)


The quality was terrific. Brave and clever students with great futures. We should be so proud of them.