Too many young people lack the confidence, skills and opportunity to share their ideas. More than 40% of the young people we meet say they don’t have the confidence to speak in front of a group of peers. The mission of Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge is to change this.

Our work changes young people’s lives. Communication skills are vital for young people to achieve their potential at school and in work and for them to have the confidence and ability to influence social change.

We do this by delivering workshops that develop young people’s confidence and their communication skills. We then provide opportunities for young people to share their ideas and perspectives, firstly at school and then to a wider audience.

The self-confidence to share your perspectives also has positive mental health impacts through building a positive self-identity. By talking on subjects that matter to them, each student helps contribute to a better shared understanding of their peers opinions, faiths and values.

We are passionate about the difference we make, so invest a lot of time in measuring and reviewing our impact. We get feedback from over 500 teachers and 20,000 students to provide a reliable and valid impact data set.

This is the immediate difference we make…

We ask teachers for mixed-ability groups for our workshops because we know the shy student who might be afraid to put their hand up in class has opinions and unique lived experiences, even if they don’t think they do. Unheard voices are as valuable as every other voice, sometimes more so.

“I am an introvert,” says Antonia, “I grew up understanding that I simply was not ‘able to do that’ because I was not loud, not boisterous and not confident.” Is that still the case?

Read her story…

It’s important for young people to learn public speaking skills because we have so many ideas that we want to share, if we know how best to do that and how best to express our feelings then we will make much more of an impact.” – Fizza

Fizza used her voice to share her compelling view that until we are all equally represented in film and wider media, we will not see equality or tolerance in society. Fizza’s example to others is learning to communicate publicly amplifies her voice on a subject she is passionate about.

Watch her speech…

Louisa’s speech is a snapshot of her experience navigating the unpredictability of others and accepting yourself for who you are. Sharing her story is “helpful for other people to hear about someone’s experiences, it’s educational, it also normalises the topic.”

“This has given me really good public speaking skills. If I went into something like politics, which I am thinking about, it’s going to be massively helpful. My speech is motivational and inspires other people which is part of being someone who is a leader or in charge of a political situation.” – Louisa.

Watch her journey…

In line with the Ofsted framework, spiritual development for pupils must include their ability to be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and perspective on life, as well as knowledge of, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values. These workshops support this development between students.

“This workshop made me realise that many people have different viewpoints, feelings and values. It is important to listen to other people.” – Ivy

Programme participant, Erin shared her experience of living with a stutter. This story started with a workshop delivered by Speakers Trust in her school, but took her all the way to the Grand Final of Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge where she become Grand Champion of Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge in 2018.

“I was able to get up on a stage and do what used to scare me most; speak. And I loved every terrifying second. Because for that time, I could perform without a care and without worry, I could simply get up and tell people my story.” – Erin

Read more…

“I want to be a psychologist. Before this I wasn’t very good at talking to help which is what you need to be able to be a psychologist! I think I have definitely become better at talking to people, one on one conversations and making eye contact. It just gives you a lot of confidence, I’m not as shy, this experience has really helped me with that.” – Sienna

Sienna made it all the way to the Grand Final of Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge in 2019, giving her the opportunity to hone her speaking skills even further and prepare for her future.

Watch her speech…