Teenage speakers given top spot

PUPILS from Helena Romanes School proved they can talk the talk after achieving victory in a youth public speaking contest organised by the Dunmow Rotary Club. The competition was the first part of a national contest and two teams from the Helena Romanes

PUPILS from Helena Romanes School proved they can talk the talk after achieving victory in a youth public speaking contest organised by the Dunmow Rotary Club.

The competition was the first part of a national contest and two teams from the Helena Romanes School will now progress to the next round to be held in Bishop's Stortford after beating pupils from Felsted School.

Teams of three aged 11 to 17 took part with each consisting of a chairman, a speaker and a proposer. All manner of topics were covered at Foakes Memorial Hall in Great Dunmow,

including "Does all power corrupt?" and "Rehabilitation: Does it work?".


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Competition rules meant that a chairman had two minutes to introduce the team and the chosen topic for discussion, the speaker then had six minutes to make a case, after which a question from the audience was answered. Finally the proposer gave a summary and a vote of thanks.

Timekeepers monitored each team with points deducted for running over or under the allotted time.

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Peter Fox from the Rotary Club said: "All teams gave excellent performances, in particular the speakers, who were very passionate about their subjects."

The panel of adjudicators, Rev Mark James from St Mary's Church, Michael Chapman from The Rotary Club and Olga Burrell from the Inner Wheel agreed.

"The competition results were very close, but in the end this year both Helena Romanes teams were deemed the winners," they said.

All team members were congratulated and presented with a Youth Speak certificate by Rotary President David Edwards.

The Helena Romanes team will proceed to the next round to be held in Bishop's Stortford in January.

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