Chislehurst student Olivia is best young speaker in Bromley

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 March 2019

Mayor Cllr Kim Botting with winner Olivia Hahn, second placed Jacob Manston and third placed Imogen Edmundson. Photo: Gabriel Nita

Mayor Cllr Kim Botting with winner Olivia Hahn, second placed Jacob Manston and third placed Imogen Edmundson. Photo: Gabriel Nita

© Gabriel Nita

A Chislehurst student has talked her way to the top prize in the Bromley Regional Final of Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge.

This is the world’s largest youth speaking event in the world, with more than 19,000 students in London and Essex taking part.

It is supported and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation and designed and delivered by Speakers Trust, the UK’s leading public speaking charity.

More than 470 Year 10 students in Bromley’s state secondary schools received a one-day public speaking and communications training workshop to prepare them.

During this intensive course, students were given the skills and the confidence to develop and deliver a competition speech on a topic that is important to them.

Then they all came together at Langley School for Boys and competed to become the Bromley’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Champion.

This year, it was Olivia Hahn from Coopers School, Hawkwood Lane, Chislehurst, who scooped the £100 gift certificate and the chance to go through to the frand final at the Cambridge Theatre, Covent Garden on July 1.

Olivia impressed the judges with a winning speech entitled “How to not be boring” where she talked about being curious in life.

Asked about the training and the competition, she said: “It was a good experience and I’m really happy with the outcome. I enjoyed it because I knew that everyone was actually listening to me and not ignoring me.”

A very respectable second place went to Jacob Manston, from The Ravensbourne School, Hayes Lane, Bromley, with his speech “Mardi”, and third went to Imogen Edmundson, of Darrick Wood School, Lovibonds Avenue, Orpington, with a speech entitled “What it means to be a woman”.

Bromley Mayor Cllr Kim Botting presented the awards, and said afterwards: “What a wonderful evening. I do a lot of public speaking and one thing I have learned is that if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail.

“And it was so clear that all our speakers had prepared themselves brilliantly.”

The Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge is in its 13th year.

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