Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge

Equipping Year 10 students across London and Essex with the skills and confidence they need to share their ideas and reach their potential.

Speakers Trust and the Jack Petchey Foundation have been delivering Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge since 2006.

Since its inception, this programme has transformed hundreds of thousands of young lives – helping students to find their voices and show their capabilities to their peers and communities.

The programme is open to Year 10 students in every state school in London and Essex, which means that every year 20 000 young people are given the skills and encouragement to speak more confidently in public. Each student receives a full day of public speaking training with one of our expert trainers. The impact on students is profound, from increasing their empathy with the views of others to improving their ability to work under pressure. You can see for yourself on our impact dashboard, which is updated daily.

“Participating in Jack Petchley’s Speak Out Challenge gave me huge confidence to find my voice and be able to communicate effectively. I benefited massively as I went through my education, and continue to do so day to day in my professional career. It no doubt set me up for success!”
Max Winston, JPSOC alumni and Chief of Staff to the CEO, Monzo Bank

After the workshop, selected students enter a competition structure – sharing their speeches on school, regional and national stages. Speeches are judged by panels of VIP judges – which helps to raise aspirations for students and the profile of young people in the community.

The programme culminates in the Grand Final event, usually held at a West End theatre. Students share inspiring, thought-provoking and uplifting speeches to an audience of a thousand people and a prestigious panel of judges and stand a chance to win a significant cash prize for themselves and their school.

“Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge had a profound impact on me. I whole-heartedly believe that the interpersonal skills of public speaking, charisma and empathy can turn a good person into an outstanding one”
God’s Favour Oluwanusin, Speakers Trust Alumni Ambassador

Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge has become an established and celebrated part of the school year for most state secondary schools in London and Essex and teachers continue to praise the skill of the trainers and the impact of the programme on their students:

“We do the challenge every year and every year, I am blown away by it. The workbooks and trainers are extremely engaging and always bring out the best in our students. The whole experience really inspires the students and teachers”
Lauren Howard, Teacher at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre


Get inspired by our most recent Grand Final Champion 2022-23: Ethan Bousoula of Enfield Grammar School, with his speech “It Doesn’t Get Better”.

To watch more brilliant student speeches, click here.


The students completed their speaking endorsement for their GCSE’s this week and due to the programme we have more students that have achieved merits and distinctions than in previous years, the students felt ready to deliver their speeches and answer questions about them, they even used the scaffolds from the sessions to replan and revise their talking points prior to delivery.

Deputy Head, Beacon High School

It was an enjoyable and productive day. The students were amazing and gave phenomenal speeches

Teacher, Graveney School

My students have experienced something quite rare – the space to think and the freedom to speak about hopes and fears in an entertaining, mutually respectful and intellectually dynamic workshop. Many thanks

Cathy Haslam, Teacher

Participating in the Speak Out challenge gave me huge confidence to find my voice and be able to communicate effectively. I benefited massively as I went through my education, and continue to do so day to day in my professional career. It no doubt set me up for success!

Max Winston, Chief of Staff, Monzo

The Speak Out challenge gave me a voice that I never knew that I had. It has played an integral part in boosting my confidence and also gave me a multitude of essential life skills that I constantly apply in my day to day life. That is why when the opportunity to become an Alumni Ambassador was offered to me, I felt so honoured to become a part of this wonderful process and hopefully help others gain these invaluable life skills and find their own voice.