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Youth Speaks - a celebration of Young Talent

Youth Speaks!  Blog by Jane Longworth

I had the recent pleasure of collaborating with Shepperton Aurora Rotary Club and acting as an Adjudicator for the regional heats of the Youth Speaks; a debating competition for young people aged 11-17.

A national competition organised and supported by Rotary International, it’s a fantastic vehicle to help young people develop and hone public speaking skills, the ability to formulate & articulate constructive arguments, and to present with passion and influence. As a Talent & HR professional – I wholeheartedly support the development of capability and confidence in the area of public speaking and influencing; an amazing skill that can be used in all professional walks of life.

Our regional heat was held in the impressive glory of the Chambers of Spelthorne Borough Council, but even more impressive was the accomplishment of the Speakers from our six local schools. I was absolutely blown away by the energy, passion and quality of the students. The effort they’d put into practice and preparation was awe inspiring and the results were of such a high standard, they could undoubtedly show some of our Elected Members in the House of Commons a thing or two!

My fellow Adjudicators and I found it incredibly hard to reach a decision on the Winners for each category – the performances were of such an equally high calibre. I’m sending every best wish to the team from Matthew Arnold School in Staines for the next round.

The event left me feeling uplifted and inspired by all the teams – this sneak preview into the Next Generation of Talent suggests that the future is very bright!




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