Speak up!


On Thursday 10  March, House teams from Upper III and Lower IV competed in the finals of the Baroness Brigstocke Memorial Public Speaking Competition. Amazingly, eighteen teams competed in the heats in February for four places in the final. The chair’s role was to introduce the speaker and organise questions from the audience. The main speakers covered a range of topics: ‘Is Graffiti Art?’; ‘Lockdown Dogs’; ‘Is AI a Threat’, and ‘Should nurses be paid the same as footballers?’

The judges, Miss Turkington (previously Head of English at The Abbey) and Mr Dalton, were impressed with all the speeches, considering content, structure and delivery to decide the winner. Mariann (Upper III Kensington) was awarded best Chair, and Amy (Lower IV Carrington) best speaker. Amy and Emily (Carrington) won the overall competition, and Mariann and Poppy (Kensington) came second. The Upper III and Lower IV audience were attentive, asking thoughtful questions which were answered confidently by the speakers from every team.

All the students enjoyed the competition, despite having to perform in front of over 250 students, teachers and parents. Emily said, ‘I’m so pleased I took part in Brigstocke this year. Public speaking is such an important life skill. Even though it is scary before you speak, it’s really enjoyable in the end’.

The competition was introduced by Mr le Fleming, whilst members of Upper V from the Senior Public Speaking Club introduced the teams, timed the speeches and provided a Vote of Thanks. Jigya said, ‘Hosting Brigstocke was an amazing experience,’ and Harriet added that she enjoyed, ‘listening to the future of public speaking at The Abbey School’.

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