Public Speaking Competition
Two teams from St Mary’s Independent School had a nerve-wracking, exciting and enjoyable night on Monday as they battled in the first round heats of the English Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition.
Teams from Winchester College and The Ryde School (two apiece) travelled to Southampton and competed with our Year 10 and Year 11 teams in the Jean De La Mennais Room for the honour of progressing to the district finals.
Our Year 10 team consisted of Nico Bray as chair-person (stepping in at the last minute due to illness), Molly Finking as speaker and Janek Codlin as questioner. Molly was introduced and questioned by one of the Winchester College teams, and Nico and Janek introduced and questioned students from The Ryde School. All overcame their understandable nerves and performed very well.
The St Mary’s Year 11 team – Alessandro Leoni (chair), Emily Cooney (speaker) and Jaden King (questioner) – benefited greatly from their experience in the competition last year. According to the judges, they were one of the three outstanding teams of the heat and were apparently only knocked into third place after some very intensive debate on the judging panel, who had awarded us the same arithmetic total as another team.
Gratifyingly, Emily Cooney was awarded an individual prize for ‘Best Speaker’ for her speech on ‘Why personal best is the most important measurement in sport’ and her impressive handing of her subsequent interrogation!
All in all, it was a very successful evening and, although naturally disappointed to miss out so narrowly on progressing to the next round, our students can hold their heads high and know that they have learned a great deal from their experience.