Public Speaking with The Oratory School

Tuesday 15th October 2019

On Monday 13 May, Queen Anne’s girls participated in a public speaking event with The Oratory boys’ school.


Over the calm and scenic evening, two speakers from each school eloquently delivered a 5-10-minute speech based upon a topic that they have chosen, and received very challenging questions from the 30 students who kindly came to watch (encouraged of course by the prospect of a barbeque breaking up the evening).


First, to bravely take the stage, was Hakim from The Oratory, delivering a very informative speech: “Religious Fundamentalism, is it a threat to society?”.  He drew on the ideal that the educational system must take steps to expand pupils understanding and acceptance of different religious ideas in order to prevent Religious Fundamentalism becoming a threat. It was very refreshing to hear about an issue that is often swept under the carpet but is in desperate need of discussion.


Second, again from The Oratory, was JP, whom was very anxious to deliver his speech on algorithms. At first, nervous for him, I was hesitant as to how well this would pan out, but as soon as JP started throwing in some hilarious allegories when explaining what exactly an algorithm is to the less mathematically inclined audience, he really did shine on stage. Not only were the girls and boys in the audience immensely entertained, but they went away with a basic understanding to a concept which may be potentially controlling our lives.


Once we had allowed our stomachs to settle down after the delicious meal, it was Queen Anne’s girls’ turn to take the stage and blow The Oratory boys away.


Hannah S stood up first to talk about “Can the leaking of information from the National Security Council ever be justified?”, a very topical and controversial current affair impacting the UK government at the moment, amidst the chaos of Brexit. Hannah delivered her speech with collectiveness and great persuasion and it was great to hear one perspective of Theresa May’s decision to sack Gavin Williamson for the Huawei leak scandal.


Last to stand up was…me! I was extremely nervous to deliver the controversial speech discussion my opinions about the new National Consent forms being brought in over the UK, forcing rape victims to hand over their phone or face the threat of the discontinuation of their prosecution. Understanding the sensitivity of this topic, I was glad that my speech was well received.


After I had finally finished, all the speakers lined up in front of the audience to be asked a series of questions, and boy did the audience have a few hard ones! It was very interesting to listen to the speakers answer a series of challenging questions, and afterwards I felt like my brain had just ran a marathon.


Overall, the evening was a great learning experience, teaching me not only how to handle difficult and perplexing questions, but also allowed me to learn about such a broad selection of intriguing concepts.


We all look forward to the next Public Speaking evening and I can’t wait to hear what the students have to talk about next. I encourage everyone to take part if they can and for friends to come support this entertaining experience.


Post by Maddie C (U6)