Pol Casas Abella from Fourth Form reviews the annual TY House Speech competition:
On Sunday 2nd October, all the college had the privilege of hearing 10 magnificent speeches from the Transition Year forth formers. The judges were Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Watts, and Henry Carroll, who was awarded third place in last year's event. Above all, I want to say that (before commenting on their respective performances) every single participant deserves respect. We all know that what they did was not an easy task. However, this pressure didn’t seem to the participants; almost every one of them had great enunciation, adopted an effective variety of tone of voice and looked very confident on stage.
Caspar Schulenberg opened up the night's entertainment with his speech based on satire. He gave his opinion on what he enjoyed about this topic, highlighted some examples to make us understand what he said, and emphasised the things that he would change to make satire even better. I thought that the speech was worthy of being placed as one of the top three, due to both the confidence that he showed and the content that he offered. A lot of people would like to have his public speaking gifts.
Then it was Isabelle Townshend's moment to shine. Her speech was very interesting due to the fact that 9/11 is a subject that I’m passionate about. Moreover, she talked about it in a singular manner, defending a conspiracy theory that most people are sceptical about. I think that she was very bold in choosing to speak about her controversial topic, but at the same time she had a lot of facts supporting it.
After Isabelle came Ross Magill. I must mention the great tone of voice that Ross had. He looked very confident and comfortable while speaking. At the same time, he managed to be very funny (if not hilarious) and made the audience have a great time. I absolutely agreed with the second place that was awarded to this performance.
Catherine Butt was next. This student is in my English set and therefore I already knew my thoughts on her speech before she started talking. Anyway, I loved the way that she described and referred to her mother. It was the perfect mixture between tenderness and realism.
When Catherine finished, Harry Oke-Osanyintolu started speaking. From my point of view, he was the highlight of the night. Why? Because his speech had all the requirements needed for winning success: passion, well-memorised, an engaging subject and even acting while delivering the speech. This performance definitely had all these points. Honestly, I was surprised when I found out that he hadn’t won. (This is of course without taking merit from the actual winner).
Joel Taylor kept all the audience involved in the event thanks to his polemical speech based on anti-feminism. As he said, it’s better to defend what we think and the truth, rather than being politically correct. That is why I admired his performance, although he shouldn’t have used any notes, and nor did he need them.
Now it’s time to talk about the winner: Anna Laurenceau. Some people, like me or even herself, were surprised at the choice. However, later on I had the chance to think about it and I could understand it. Talking about soccer with the passion that she did being a female, is an unusual occurrence. Even though she forgot some tiny parts of what she had to say during the performance, she was able to recover from these mistakes and this culminated in a great speech.
Ted Johnson decided to pick “ Space and the human achievements made there” as his topic. I know (almost for sure) that if he had memorised his speech properly, now we would be talking about one of the most remarkable speeches of the event. Unluckily, this was not the case and, although significant and interesting research had been done his problems on stage delivering it from memory faltered too often and this made the speech sound less prepared worse than it actually was.
Then the next participant started his speech off with one word. Cancer. This is how Greg Kryukov kicked off his performance, and how he got all our attention; by saying the name of what he was going to talk about. It sounded simple, but I thought that it was a really smart move from him. In addition, he talked about all the must-mention facts surrounding the disease.
To finish off the event, Josephine Krieger spoke about the other side of JoelTaylor’s topic. Feminism. She defended her reasons very well, and made us all understand some of the wider issues of sexism nowadays.
In conclusion Iona won the overall prize. Anna Laurenceau won as an individual with Ross Magill and Harry Oke-Osanyintolu in joint second place. I and everyone agreed that all the speakers made an incredible effort that resulted in, as Mr. McCarthy said, one of the best House Speeches in a long time.