Year 10 student, Nicolas Deeks, has recently wowed audiences and judging panels at the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge Regional Finals. The Croydon Finals, which took place at Coombe Wood School on 22nd March, welcomed contestants from across the borough to compete in one of the 37 regional finals across London and Essex in the UKs largest youth public speaking competition.
Public speaking does not come naturally to many of us, it can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience just to stand up and speak, let alone deliver something engaging and funny. This is what makes Nicolas’ performance at the Jack Petchey Regional Finals this term even more remarkable. His journey began when all students from Year 10 had previously taken part in the Jack Petchey workshops here at the Academy, which aim to develop oracy skills and public speaking. Nicolas was chosen as the local winner from Year 10 at OAC, securing his place at the Regional Final.
On the night of the Regional Final, Nicolas performed his speech to a packed audience and won first place! Ms Green, Principal at Oasis Academy Coulsdon, commented “I am exceptionally proud of Nicolas and his achievement; this is a first for our school and I cannot think of a more worthy winner. The quality of Nicolas’s speech is brilliant, from the evident time put into researching the content, to the standard at which he delivers it- I think he is a very serious contender for National Final winner!”
Nicolas is now waiting to find out if he has made it through to the National Finals due to take place later this year as the 37 regional winners are narrowed down to 15 by an expert panel at a semi-final screening of all speeches.
Nicolas was a superb ambassador for the Academy, and we are very proud of his achievement. You can watch his speech from the night by clicking HERE, and we recommend you do– it’s fantastic!