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    Meet Grand Finalist, Nathaniel Todd

    4 Jul 2022

    After a challenging pandemic with far reaching consequences for schools, students and oracy skills, the Jack Petchey Foundation recognised and responded to the needs of young people. They made it possible for more than 30,000 students to be part of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! this academic year alone, making this the highest number of students ever trained on the programme in such a short amount of this. 

    The Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! provides year 10 students in state schools across London and Essex with public speaking and communication training to increase their confidence, sense of agency and drive to make a difference in society. 

    During the academic year, over 400 schools have received a free one-day public speaking workshop for their students. The student’s confidence in speaking to an audience, without notes, is measured at the beginning and at the end of the day. During 2021-22, 77% of students have increased their confidence to stand up and talk to a group of people. At the end of the day, every school nominates one student to go on to the Regional Final, where they compete again other school finalists and their speeches are judged based on content delivery and structure by a panel of esteemed judges. After going on to win the semi-finals, our 15 most inspirational, articulate, and impressive speakers are now ready to present their speech to you! 

    We will celebrate the achievements of these awe-inspiring young people in the heart of London’s West End at Cambridge Theatre on Monday 18th July and crown the 2022 “Speak Out” Champion! 

    In no particular order, meet Grand Finalist Nathaniel Todd! 

    His speech ‘Thoughtful Power’ earned them and their school, Central Foundation Boys’ School, first place in their Islington Regional Final. Nathaniel teaches us we can achieve anything we set our minds too, so long as you harness the power of positive thoughts 

    We asked Nathaniel, what three items or people would you choose to take to a desert island and why? 

    A magnifying glass or a mirror to start a fire, be warm and be able to cook. An army knife to prepare food, protect myself and build a shelter. A picture of my family and I to keep me going. 

    What is your favourite saying or quote and why?

    “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” 

     If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be and why?  

    Chicken, any type. I simply love chicken. 

     What three top tips on life would you give a Year Seven student? 

    Be confident. Be open to change. Most importantly, enjoy it, the year will fly by extremely quickly. 

     You could have made a speech anything in the world. Why did you speak about this one subject? 

    I want people to realise that if we obtain a positive mindset, this leads to approaching everything in a positive way and can in turn result in a better, happier life. 

    And finally, why do you think it’s important for young people, like you, to share their stories? 

    Many young people aren’t heard which leaves them feeling lonely and misunderstood. Therefore by sharing our stories, not only are we helping ourselves, but we are encouraging many other young people to speak out. 

    Watch Nathaniel’s winning speech.


    Did you know that tickets for the Grand Final are free? Yes, that’s right! Join us and help amplify these young voices.