Jack Petchey Foundation
If you think you can, you can!

Speak Out Challenge

The Foundation sponsors ‘Jack Petchey's Speak Out Challenge!’ a public speaking competition run by Speakers Trust in schools throughout London and Essex.

Speak Out Challenge

Speak Out Challenge 2017


"Jack Petchey's Speak Out Challenge!" is the largest speaking competition for young people in the world. Run by Speakers Trust and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation, the “Speak Out” Challenge! has now trained over 143,000 Year 10 students from 37 regions in London and Essex.

During each academic year the "Speak Out Challenge!" offers every secondary school in London and Essex public speaking workshops for Year 10 students. Each year over 18,000 young people are trained in how to “Speak Out”, in 2017 19,242 young people were trained!

The training students receive is designed to build confidence, enabling young people from all backgrounds to speak with clarity, conviction and impact. The “Speak Out Challenge!" helps everyone who takes part to become better communicators, with a greater awareness of the importance of speaking out. This improves education and employment prospects as well as the desire to use the power of the voice to bring positive change.

Once the training in each school is completed, speakers compete in a school assembly for the chance to represent their school in a Regional Final. At the end of each Regional Final, a Regional Champion is chosen. There are 37 of these Regional Finals providing us with 37 incredible speakers, from which 15 finalists are chosen for the Grand Final. 

In addition, the winner will receive £5000, £3000 of which will go towards their school. Each finalist will have 3 minutes to deliver a speech on a topic of their choice. This year, the subjects range from eating disorders to race to the importance of art. Most importantly, the speakers will have the opportunity for their voice to be heard by thousands before an audience made up of founders, CEOs, MPs, friends, family and a few famous faces. 

These include our prestigious judging panel: Sarah Sands, Editor, BBC Radio 4 The Today Programme; Una Stubbs, Actress; Tina Renshaw, Chief Executive, English Speaking Board; Luke Franks, YouTuber and TV Presenter and Ajaye McDonald, Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Champion 2016.

Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! is a unique and inspiring event. Funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation and now in its eleventh year, over 19,000 Year 10 students were trained in public speaking skills in 2017, making it our largest outreach to date. For more information about the competition or to enter your school, please visit www.speakoutchallenge.com. To find out more about this year’s Grand Finalists, please click here.

The 2017 “Speak Out Challenge!" Grand Champion is Macsen Brown. To see his speech please click here.

The 2017 “Speak Out Challenge!" Runner-up is Antonia Antrobus-Higgins. Watch her speech here

2017 Third place was awarded to Rosie Gospage. Watch her speech here

2017 Fourth place was awarded to Frankie-Jo McLean. Watch her speech here.

Read the speech from Speak Out champion Nosawaru Ihama, who won the 2013 competition with her speech entitled, 'Blood is thicker than water'.

Listen to Jamie talk about his involvement in the Challenge.


















“I believe the day was truly inspirational - I improved with confidence with every speech I did”

A Speak Out Challenge Finalist

A Speak Out Challenge Finalist