On Wednesday 1st February the local final of the public speaking competition for 5th formers, organised by the English Speaking Union with the assistance of members of the Club, took place in the Guildhall.
A total of 6 teams participated, including 2 from the Simon Langton schools , one of which was overall winner, and the other of which included a Speaker who was voted overall best speaker. Each team consisted of 3 members – a Speaker , who had been provided with a subject in advance, and who made a previously prepared speech, a Questioner, who challenged the Speaker , and a Chairman , who introduced and ran each debate, and summarised at the end. The Questioner and Chairman were both from the same school, and had not been told the subject in advance, so that their work, and the Questioner’s replies , were impromptu.
Generally, the debates were lively, and most of the speakers performed well. Following a rather dire event last year, we had suggested a number of improvements , including allowing the students to test their voices in the hall before the event – this certainly contributing to a much higher standard. A good number of Rotarians and wives helped to swell an audience of parents and friends, which participated well by raising many questions ; BD was drafted in as a judge when one of the ESU judges failed to appear, and Inner Wheel kindly provided refreshments. The Lord Mayor presented the awards, and President Harry made a short address to conclude a pleasing event.
photo by Roger Bickerton
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