Pupils are Arguably the Best
Public speaking isn’t something most people like to do. But for six pupils at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School getting up in front of a room full of people and debating a point is an activity they actively sought out.
The School entered a Senior and an Intermediate team in the Rotary Club Youth Speaks Competition that is aimed at giving young people a platform to experience public speaking, help them to formulate their ideas and practice their presentation skills.
The School’s Senior and Intermediate teams were up against tough competition from three other local schools. Edmund Omoyeni-Ajayi, a Year 9 pupil at the School, was the main speaker for the Intermediate team. He said of their performance, “I didn’t think we had done very well in comparison to the other teams. I wasn’t at all confident of our performance while we were speaking. It was only after, when talking to people who were around, that we realised that we had done really well.”
So well in fact that their team came first in their age division. Matthew Lockstone Ramage, Hugo Richards and Edmund Omoyeni-Ajayi were the School’s Intermediate team which won the local heat.
Matthew, a member of the School’s Debate Club who was the Chairman for the presentation, started by introducing the team and their topic, which focused on the fact that children aren’t using their phones too much. Not a easy topic to defend but the boys executed their parts brilliantly.
“Edmund chose the topic,” Matthew explained. “Each team had to write a speech about a topic of their choice. We wanted to pick something that was a bit controversial but that we felt we could argue well. The inspiration came from the fact that Edmund and I have phones but Hugo doesn’t. Basically, we wanted to put together an argument Hugo could take home to his mum to get him a phone!”
Although the boys joke about the reasons behind their topic, their win took a lot of effort. Edmund had to write a speech in preparation for their presentation, they had to work out their argument as well as making sure that they presented and articulated their points effectively.
“I like writing speeches which is one of the reasons I decided to join the team,” Edmund said. “I think the next stage is the District competition and we want to put some serious thought about what we are going to speak on. We haven’t quite decided what our topic will be yet.”
No matter what topic the boys choose, it is clear that they will put effort into achieving a similar result in the District stage. If they win, they will progress to Regional finals and then Nationals.
Headmaster, Mark Dixon said of the team’s effort, “Matthew, Hugo and Edmund did a fantastic job in representing the School at the Youth Speaks Competition. They worked hard and put together an impressive argument with an imaginative topic.”