So, as many of you may know, two good friends and I have been paricipating in a ‘youth speaks’ competition where, as a team, you have 12 minutes to deliver a speech/argument of a chosen topic in front of judges and an audience.

Here is our story.

This competition is held all around the U.K. with the main aim of getting into the national finals. The first stage of the competition consists of quite localised schools. This was our first time speaking in public at this intensity but our speech seemed to win the judges over as we came second out of seven and won ourselves a place in the next stage- the district finals. This stage would consist of all the schools that had previously won their first round- it was going to be a lot tougher!

The primary school that was hosting the event was packed full! As I speak last it in our team it was always so nerve racking waiting for the others to finish before I finally leapt out onto the stage and came face to face with judgement, ears and eyes watching me- waiting.

The nerves were indeed a pain but this was hardly anything compared to the rewards that came with public speaking. To have that many people just listening to what YOU have to say. To say something worth listening to. To hear the claps and smiles and laughter from our words. Our words. The words that we had written together and spent so much time and effort over. It was worth it.

In the District finals we came third- out of six- and chuffed to bits we heard that we had got a place in the regional finals!

A victory that overwhelmed us all.

A victory we never had expected- or imagined!

The regionals were two weeks after the district finals. Two weeks we had to sharpen our speeches and work on our gestures.

The day came. The regional finals! Instead of being an evening event this was all day.

Crowds of people had turned up- I was so excited and ready to give it my all!

And we did.

The results didn’t matter- we had come so far together and learned a great deal. My confidence has grown and I feel that I could speak in front of just about everyone!

We came third out of six! An unbelievable achievement.

There’s just nothing I can say that could begin to describe the experience that I have had.

And if anyone asked- I’d do it all again without a doubt!!