English: Bridmore Public Speaking Contest

From the Judge’s Seat

Bridmore - finalists 2018It was a real privilege to be asked to judge the Bridmore Public Speaking contest this year. I first did so two years ago, and I have to say the standard has increased significantly. I was truly impressed by each and every speaker. There was confidence in abundance, clarity of diction, stage presence, and passion. 

Standing up to speak in front of a large audience is not at all easy and I have known many adults who have quailed at the thought or simply refused to stand up and be judged. Yet here were a host of Year 7 and 8 finalists for whom the stage held no fear. The choice of topics was fascinating and varied. They ranged from elephant poaching to fracking to the death penalty. There were also talks on gender equality and the dangers of ‘fast’ fashion.

Judging it was not easy at all as there were so many fine presentations. These pupils have really set a high standard for future finalists and frankly, they all deserved a prize. 

However, in the end, the year 7 winner was Natalie who spoke with passion and verve on the subject of palm oil. The Year 8 winner was Lily who presented a well- balanced look at stereotyping in society.

The overall winner was Boris whose talk on social media was riveting. He took command of the stage, rarely used his cue cards and engaged the audience fully throughout. I have sat through many talks on this subject from adults who are supposedly experts in the field but Boris spoke of the dangers of social media with a real intensity and engagement that I have rarely heard from speakers much older than him. Well done, young man!

Finally, I have to make a special mention of a young chap who spoke on the importance of learning a second language – Gabriel. To deliver such a wonderful speech, (using no notes!) not in his first language, made the whole piece more poignant. Muy bien!

Bridmore 2018 - senior finalistsMy thanks to each and every finalist for entertaining me so royally. It was an absolute pleasure to listen to each and every one of you.

Well done to all the English staff for preparing the children so well in what is a tremendously busy term, and to Miss Adkin for organising it all so professionally.

Public Speaking is alive and well and thriving at Sandroyd!

Keith Bradbury