What's in a name? Is life easier for people who are conventionally beautiful? Would a social movement today be possible without teenagers? Is there a dark side to the Indian mica material mined for use in popular cosmetics? These were just some of the topics addressed by a group of talented year 12 speakers who put their oratory to the test on the 8 October in a public speaking competition organised by history teacher and head of politics, Mr Tomlison.
Anoushka, Mila, Niamh, Ishara, Shreya, and Ivanna delivered their speeches before the watchful eyes of our judges, Mrs Brown and Mr Whyld, who commended all the speeches for their "sophisticated subject matter, beautifully thought-through and presented with considerable authority and conviction."
Despite the high standard set by all, Shreya, who spoke on the age old question of tea vs coffee, was crowned overall winner. The judges "loved her subtle use of notes which made her so engaging and powerful in her delivery (to be able to use both arms/hands for gesture and look directly at the audience put her at great advantage). The content and structure were brilliant, we particularly enjoyed how she balanced humour with serious science."
The two runners-up were Ishara, who pondered 'what's in a name', and Mila, who spoke about environmental determinism—the notion that the physical environment influence the shape of human societies. The judges said that: "Both speakers were very strong, their confidence and how they 'owned it' really came across. We were impressed by both their vocal dexterity - there was much variety in terms of pace, pitch, word emphasis and use of pause." The people's choice award also went to Shreya, closely followed by Niamh as runner-up. Very well done to all speakers.