Public speaking prize for Bromley girl

A year-11 student at Bromley High School has won the GDST Chrystall Prize public speaking competition

Bromley High School’s Annie Thorpe took part at the final of this year’s Chrystall Prize at Notting Hill and Ealing High School, coming out on top with her debate on the topic of ‘Are we spinning out of control?’

“Accompanied by loyal supporters from Bromley High, we arrived full of trepidation to a host of GDST dignitaries and a packed audience,” says the school’s head of English, Sarah Morter. “The judging panel were no less impressive; Sarah Montague, presenter from BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme Today, Rageh Omaar, ITV’s international affairs editor and writer and performer Mel Giedroyc , best known for her work in comedy duo Mel and Sue and ‘The Great British Bake-Off’. The other regional finalists were from The Royal High School, Bath, Streatham and Clapham High School, Sheffield High School and Ipswich High School.” 

The finalists had to deliver a seven-minute speech on their chosen topic. The contestants were judged on a range of criteria encompassing: ability to engage an audience; appropriateness of style and language to both subject and audience; depth and clarity of argument; grasp of subject matter; clarity of expression; effective use of time and ability to deal with questions.

“Annie’s speech ‘Are we spinning out of control?’ proved to be a winning combination of entertainment, insightful comment and a powerful set of rhetorical devices. Mel Giedroyc felt Annie had ‘perfect comic timing’ – praise indeed. Annie’s performance was absolutely flawless and we were all so delighted that she was the 2015 winner. It was a well-deserved triumph against extremely stiff competition.”

The competition involved all 24 of GDST’s senior schools. The other finalists were: Beatrice Baskett from The Royal High School, Royal High School Bath, Claudia Gilbert-Allen from Streatham and Clapham High School, Yfke Van Der Heijden from Sheffield High School and Millie Morgan from Ipswich High School for Girls.

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