Speakers Trust

Skills for the future

Communication is a key skill for success in work. Yet according to a Confederation of British Industry report, half of employers are not satisfied with school leavers’ communication skills. Oracy, communication skills training and experiences in cultural institutions are common in the private school system. The Speakers Trust works to make sure that all young people have the opportunity to develop these skills that are vital for employability.

We are proud to support the Speakers Trust with £83,920 for their Culturally Speaking programme. The programme builds participants’ confidence, resilience, social capital and connection to culture by taking them to a cultural site to explore its themes. They then receive public speaking training so they can deliver a speech on one of these themes.

  • Speakers Trust work in over 700 state schools.
  • In 2022 Speakers Trust reached 35,000 young people.
  • Over 100,000 young people in youth organisations across the country have received Speakers Trust training outside of the school setting.

Culture, confidence and change

As many as 2,400 young people aged between 13 and 16 will visit art galleries, historical monuments, and museums as part of the programme. Experts at the institution guide the young people to explore the venue and identify the themes of the space. Themes will include ideas that are relevant to young people such as friendship and love, or ambition and inspiration, so the young visitors understand that they belong in these spaces and that they are relevant to their lives.

After the visit, the young people take part in a full day public speaking workshop to learn the three elements of effective communication – structure, content and delivery. They also develop the confidence to give a speech on a subject they have chosen, based on the themes of the venue they visited. Youth organisations then run their own internal competition to choose a speaker to represent the organisation at a TEDx-style showcase, where they deliver their speech on stage to an audience of hundreds, including MPs, CEOs and cultural leaders. As well as improving education and employment prospects, Culturally Speaking aims to inspire participants to use the power of their voice to bring positive change.

“[Culturally Speaking was] a wonderful opportunity for our students which empowered personal responses. Skilled trainers and an engaging project. Students really grew in confidence over the day.”

Teacher participant in the Culturally Speaking pilot.

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