Powerfully persuasive arguments at the Chrystall Prize for Public Speaking final

GDST Chief Executive, Cheryl Giovannoni, was joined by BBC journalists Stephen Sackur and James Coomarasamy to judge the Chrystall Prize for Public Speaking, hosted by Notting Hill & Ealing High School on Friday 10th March.

The five finalists, all Year 11 girls who had won their regional rounds, were required to speak for seven minutes without visual aids, hold the audience’s attention, engage their interest and then take three minutes of questions.

The winner was Anya Grayson of Sheffield High School. Anya’s topic was: ‘We are the luckiest people in the history of the world, life has never been better than in the early 21st century’.

Cheryl described Anya’s performance as “incredible. She was mature, engaging, flawlessly prepared but with real humility and quiet confidence.”

The prestigious competition is named after Chrystall Carter, Legal Adviser to the GDST and then Deputy Legal Secretary, until her sudden and untimely death in 1999. This competition was set up by her husband in her memory, to mark her commitment to the girls themselves, her pleasure in their success and her belief in the power of argument.