2019 Secondary Schools’ Public Speaking Competition

This competition requires students to speak on a subject of their choice inspired by a broad ESU nominated topic connected to ESU’s philosophy. The specific 2019 Heat nominated topic for each level is below. Students in the Grand Finals will speak to new nominated topics for the required Prepared and Impromptu speaking section. Each student will receive valuable oral feedback on the night of speech presentation.


Senior (Yrs 11-12) Competition Winners

The 2019 Senior Public Speaking competition was held Monday 5 August 2019.

The candidates presented a prepared speech based on Abraham Lincoln’s saying: 

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”


They then presented an impromptu speech, with Churchill’s dictum as a topic: 

“Those who never change their minds never change anything.”


The judges were two experts in public speaking, Associate Professor Patsy McCarthy and Lesley Irvine (QUT). They highlighted the competitors’ presence, confidence, fluency and maturity of speech.

First Prize: David Dau, Centenary High School

Second Prize: Khyja Miller, All Saints Anglican College

Third Prize:  Zeyang Wang, Balmoral State High School

Runners-up:  Deema Al Shahwani, Runcorn State High School

                         Jude Forrest, Brisbane Grammar School


Judges Patsy McCarthy and Leslie Irving


First Prize: David Dau, Centenary High School

Second Prize: Khyja Miller, All Saints Anglican College

Third Prize: Zeyang Wang, Balmoral State High School











DATE: Intermediate (Yrs9-10)

Heats: Monday 14 October 2019


TOPIC:  Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom (Roger Bacon) Prepared Speech Length:  4 minutes

Prepared Speech Length:  4 minutes

Grand Final: Monday October 28 2019

Closing Date: Monday October 7 2019


DATE: Junior (Yrs 7-8)

Heats: Tuesday October 22 2019

TOPIC:  Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves (Carl Jung) Prepared Speech Length:  3 minutes

Grand Final: Monday November 4 2019

Closing Date: Monday October 14 2019


VENUE:           ESU House 6/249 Coronation Dr Milton (Cnr Park Rd). 2nd Floor)

HEAT TIMES: Estimated 5.30pm; 7.30pm (to be advised dependent on numbers).


SPECIAL NEEDS:   For students with documented and acknowledged hearing, learning, physical, intellectual and/or visual disabilities, appropriate arrangements can be made for the competition. Please advise the Public Speaking Coordinator of any such disabilities on the entry form, prior to the competition.

PRIZES: Students in all age divisions are competing for certificates and cash prizes donated by the English-Speaking Union Queensland and ESU sponsors. The Winner of each of the Senior & Intermediate competitions will receive a $250 cash prize and the Winner of the Junior competition will receive $100.Second & Third Prizes in each of Senior and Intermediate competitions will be $100 and $50 respectively. Second & Third Prizes in the Junior competition will be $50 and $30 respectively.


ENTRY COST: Prepared Speaking for all divisions $15.00


Speakers in the Grand Final are expected to be in attendance for the whole evening. Please contact esu@Lrv.net.auor 0423295721 to speak to the ESU Public Speaking Co-ordinator.

All Rights Reserved 2018 ESU QLD / Website Design: Brizweb