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Speech Competition with guest judge renowned speechwriter Brian Jenner

Karen Smith

The English department has been helping Fifth Formers develop their skills in speech writing in recent lessons.  Pupils were tasked with writing a response to a fictional planning proposal from Tesla Corporation to site a nuclear power plant on the Canford golf course before going head-to-head during online TEAMS lessons to select the best speeches from each class.  On the morning of Thursday 21st January, the classes heard from the eloquent and persuasive finalists: Nat, Nuala, Ethan, Jemima, Oscar, Will and Max.

We were honoured to welcome Brian Jenner as our guest judge for the final.  Brian is the founder of the European Speechwriter Network, editor of a quarterly magazine The Speechwriter and a previous winner of the prestigious Cicero award for speechwriting. Brian has written for the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Daily Mail. He has also published two books about the art of speechwriting.


Brian was very impressed with the overall quality of the speeches, commenting that he thought the pupils used an excellent range of rhetorical devices. Max was selected as the overall winner for his rousing and impassioned call to oppose the planning proposal. Ethan and Nuala were ranked in second and third place, respectively.

 

Head of English Richard Redwood commented:

“This has been an excellent project for our Fifth Form and the topic has generated some enthusiastic viewpoints committed to paper and then delivered in speech.  Thank you very much to Brian for taking the time to hear the finalists’ entries, and we look forward to inviting him back to judge our House debating competition being held live on Friday 5th February.”

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