The Speak Out Challenge is a public speaking programme, aimed at developing young people’s confidence and empathy, and raising aspirations.
The programme is delivered by Speakers Trust, a charity on a mission to enable every young person to speak confidently and be heard. The programme amplifies young people’s voices by developing skills and creating platforms for young people to share their stories and ideas. Young people in Year 10 participate in a transformative full day workshop at their school, culminating in every student making a speech, without notes, on a topic of their choice.
The impact on students is profound, from increasing their empathy with the views of others to improving their ability to work under pressure. Selected students then participate in a progressive competition, sharing their speeches with a wider audience in school and across their region in the Speak Out Challenge Final. At the Final, speeches are heard by a public audience and judged by a panel of VIP judges, which helps to raise the students’ aspirations and the profile of young people in the community.
The programme enables social mobility, helping to build a stronger society in which the voices of young people are heard, whatever their background.
The Speak Out Challenge workshops embed the Skills Builder Essential Skills Framework to boost and develop learning, confidence and self-belief in young people, in order to help them succeed in their future lives. The essential skills of Speaking, Listening, Creativity and Aiming High are explored throughout, with a combination of games and exercises, as well as opportunities for the participants to reflect on their skills development and how they can be further enhanced.
Young people feedback on the development of these skills by completing surveys at the start and end of the workshop, enabling Speakers Trust to measure the impact and progress. Teachers further enrich impact measurement by completing a survey after the workshop.
Students are encouraged to continue their skills development following the workshop with the use of their Speak Out Challenge workbook and by accessing Skills Builder Homezone and Launchpad.