It always amuses me when you see ‘vox-pops’ on US TV that everyone there seems a born communicator – perhaps because public speaking is often focused on in schools. Last night I had a fascinating evening – as a judge at the charity Speakers Banks’ Financially Speaking awards for London, where 13-14 years olds are challenged to make a financial speech.
The kids, often from inner city schools, were brilliant and inspiring with a range of subjects from philanthropy to MPs’ expenses, student loans and how parents need to prioritise their spending. It shows just how important financial education is (please sign the financialeducationpetition).
Do it naturally, or with style?
As someone who talks money professionally it was interesting to watch. Some of the kids spoke naturally, while others went for stylised, almost theatrical delivery.
Interestingly for me the natural speakers worked best ; pulling off a stylised speech is a very tough call at that age and very few truly managed it.
The overall winner did her two minutes on philanthropy, encouraging everyone to follow Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s lead and give money or time to make life better for others – she belted out a well thought-through speech with good content.
Yet it was a close call, another stand out performance was from a chap who used his two minutes to explain the credit crunch and why it’d happened; not easy for anyone at any age but he did it clearly and with passion.
While a few of the speeches were a little disjointed or needed a bit more research, as they were focused more on punching it out rather than the information, most worked well, and barring the odd bout of nerves, were really professional.
Well done to all the participants – and parents you should be proud of them!