Public Speaking is generally characterised as being only for people who are quick-witted and confident. In fact, our Public Speaking AOB welcomes anyone willing to try new things and, in the process, boosts their confidence to a new level, helping them make progress in a wide variety of different skills they didn’t know they had. It is vital to learn how to argue persuasively, question thoughtfully, and to explore new topics that could pique your interest.
The Public Speaking AOB involves three key roles: the chairperson, the questioner, and the speaker. Students who are chosen to undertake these roles have the opportunity to represent the school in the ESU Public Speaking Competition where schools all over the country are able to compete. This year, Cokethorpe progressed to the second round of the competition and our team of participants said that they grew in confidence and overall think the AOB has made them believe more in themselves.
On Thursday 31 March, anticipation was rife as students gathered for the Cokethorpe Public Speaking Showcase: a competition for everyone in our AOB which was held in the lower library. Four teams offered up a wide variety of insightful and engaging speeches, on issues as widespread as misogyny, doping, and global warming; each speaker faced questions from the opposition and the audience, while the chairperson of each team kept things running to time and created succinct summaries at the end of each item. Ultimately, it was Felix (Fifth Form, Queen Anne) who won ‘Best Speaker’ for his pertinent speech entitled ‘Is there ever such thing as a just war?’ Lily (Fourth Form, Gascoigne) was awarded ‘Best Questioner’ and Henry (Third Form, Harcourt) ‘Best Chairperson’. Although the competition was very tight indeed, the Best Overall Team Award went to Elsa (Fourth Form, Feilden), Ella (Fourth Form, Queen Anne), and Emily (Fourth Form, Gascoigne). We warmly congratulate every student who challenged themselves through their participation and hope it inspires others to try step outside their comfort zones.
Henry (Third Form, Harcourt)