After just over a week of getting ready, the ten speakers who had been chosen had to give their speeches in front of the school.
Nathalie Verwijs was the presenter of the evening. She started the event off by welcoming us all and introducing the judges, Mr McCarthy, Mr. Duffy and last year’s house speeches winner, Ella Ejase-Tobrise. She then went on to introduce the first speaker, Sasha Cole.
Sasha was speaking for Iona House about bad habits. This, I feel was a relevant topic. I thought she did very well taking into account how difficult it must have been to be the first speaker. She started her speech with examples of bad habits like biting your nails, gambling and saying the word “like” repeatedly in a sentence. I thought that this was a good opening as I personally can relate to the latter of the three. She then went on to talk about a story which gave the moral that the longer you have a bad habit the more difficult it is to get rid of it. Sasha then gave some helpful advice on how to get rid of bad habits by replacing them with better ones. She left us with the question “how are you going to break your bad habits?” This in my opinion was a strong ending as it left us with something to think about.
Nathalie came back on to introduce the next speaker, Richard Dennis. He was speaking about stupid laws. He made it personal to his audience by giving a Columba's rule of not being allowed to swim outside of the school as an example. He proceeded to give us many humorous examples like how prostetution is legal in Sweden but hiring a prostetute is not. He added more humour still by telling us that the penalty for jumping off a building is death and followed it with the comment “Who'd have thought it?”
The tone was then changed as Felix Mertes who was speaking for Stackallan on the refugee crisis, came on. He told us the story of a father and son who were refugees who were tripped up by a camerawoman and while they went on to become football stars she lost her job. He stressed how these happy stories are few and far between as only 2% of the refugees reach Europe and even then are rarely allowed to stay. He went on to the example of his home country, Germany making the speech more personal. He acknowledged that “cultures will clash and there will be difficulties” but he urged us to take in the refugees. He seemed to have a strong opinion, spoke clearly and knew the facts. This made his speech believable.
Saffron Perceval then talked about short people problems. She gave a funny speech about the issues of being cute, friends holding things over your head, shelves and getting lost.
Felix Alyn Morgan then gave a very dynamic speech about Wales. His topics varied from stereotypes to rugby. His pride was evident when he told us of the 26 times that Wales have won the Six Nations. He then involved the audience by giving a lesson in Welsh and following that he talked about the famous Welsh singer, Tom Jones, before bursting into song. He sung a part of Jones’s song “It's not unusual to be loved by anyone.”
Iman Samimi then spoke about toilets. He managed to make his speech very amusing while making it factual. An example of a fact I learnt from his speech is that modern plumbing dates back to 6000 B.C.
Nathalie then introduced Kitty Morris who gave one of my favourite speeches of the night. She spoke about being the unloved child. In my opinion she started the speech off very well with the line of importance in her family which ended up with her not only being ranked lower than all of her family members but also behind her dogs and the hockey sticks. She proceeded to give many examples of how unloved she is which were put in such a way that they were really funny.
Wenzel Manegold was the only person who actually volunteered to do a speech. He represented Stackallan and for the second time in the evening we heard about refugees. He did, however, manage to make his speech different to his housemate Felix’s. He told us a personal story of two refugees that he knows, Sami and Ali. He told of how Ali was an orphan. He was tortured in Libya and so he tried to move to Italy but the boat sank meaning he ended up in Austria. From there he managed to make his way to Germany. Wenzel highlighted the importance of integrating the refugees. He left us with a question to ponder on: “ What do you do for the refugees?”
From Hollypark we had Sasha Sharykina who spoke about fears. She listed her fears and then advised us on overcoming our fears. She spoke about the first man in space and told us of how he faced his fears. She encouraged us to do the same and left us with the inspirational quote “ it's okay to have fears but something that's not okay is to let those fears control you.”
Nathalie then introduced the final speaker Henry Carroll. He gave his speech on human trafficking. From him we received the shocking fact that a slave is only worth €72 on average which is just more than a game of Fifa 16. He involved the audience twice in his speech requesting a show of hands. I thought that Henry was another very good speaker.
The judges then decided on the winners with first place going to Wenzel from Stackallan, second place going to Felix Mertes and third place going to Henry.
Overall I think it was an enjoyable and interesting evening and all the speakers did a very commendable job. Congratulations to the winner Wenzel Manegold.