It is particularly beneficial for students to have opportunities to compete against, and learn from, young people from other schools.

Teacher, Marr College


The ESU Scotland Schools’ Public Speaking Competition, for pupils in years S4 to S6 (aged 18 or under), and the ESU Scotland Speakers’ Corner Challenge Competition for S1 to S3 pupils.

ESU Scotland runs two single-speaker competitions: the ESU Scotland Schools’ Public Speaking Competition, for pupils in years S4 to S6 (aged 18 or under), and the ESU Scotland Speakers’ Corner Challenge Competition for S1 to S3 pupils.


Different themes are set for the preliminary rounds and the final, and the format allows pupils to present a creative speech of five minutes on a very broad topic. This provides a forum to develop their own personal speaking style and to build confidence in articulating and sharing their ideas; skills that will help them at school and throughout their everyday lives. Recent themes have included topical subjects and literary quotes.


Speakers are expected to answer questions after their speech, posed by the adjudication panel to help ascertain how well-researched the speaker is.


The ESU Scotland Public Speaking Competitions are funded by a generous bequest from Miss Evelyn Small. 

This year's

Public Speaking Handbook:

Screenshot 2020-11-06 at 12.27.27.png


This year, we are thrilled to announce that ​our Public Speaking Competition is supported by the U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh. We've teamed up with them to present a series of exciting themes, built around the relationship between Scotland the U.S. and the way that greater international cooperation can lead to a better society. 

If you're interested in taking part in this year's Pubic Speaking Competition and would like an entry form, please send an email to 



Friday, 13th November 2020

Online training workshop 

Monday, 23rd November - Friday, 11th December 2020

Preliminary Heats

Saturday, February 21st 2021

Grand Final (venue to be confirmed)

"I'm Magen. As an aspiring lawyer, I found the Public Speaking competition to be great fun. It not only helped to improve my overall public speaking skills, but gave me the opportunity to meet other young people and learn different styles of public speaking. " 


Magen, 2016-17 Schools' Public Speaking Competition Champion

Norton Park, 57 Albion Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5QY  0131 475 2332 

Scottish charity number: SC000653


© 2019 by ESU Scotland