Speakerstrust Adult Speech

About Us

We are passionate about public speaking and we want to share and ignite that passion in others.

As a registered charity we endeavour for everybody to have the skills, confidence and desire to speak in public. We are dedicated to helping people of all ages and levels achieve this.

How did it all start? Check out our timeline to find out…

Speakers Trust Timeline Click a date to explore our history


  • Awarded Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! funding for the tenth year
  • Won Time to Shine funding from the Rank Foundation
  • Julie Holness appointed as Chief Executive Officer
  • Restructure and new Board of Trustees


  • 200,000th person trained – and counting
  • Named Charity of the Year by the Merchant Taylor Company
  • Won Time to Shine Programme funding from the Rank Foundation


  • Expert trainer, Michael Ronayne won a national speaking competition
  • The ninth Grand Final of Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! took place at London, out of the 17,000 young people on the programme, Nosawaru Ihama was named Champion
  • ‘Speak Up Speak Out’ programme launched in Surrey with thanks to the Peter Harrison Foundation
  • Antonia Swinson left Speakers Trust, Jean Gamester appointed as new Chief Executive
  • New Board members were appointed: John Hutchison (Honorary Treasurer), Oliver Williams, Ian Wybrew-Bond, and  Jane Houghton
  • 100,000th young person trained on Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Programme
  • Trained  more young people through The Challenge
  • 229 workshops, over 5000 students trained through the Four Acre Trust


  • New website and new products launched. 160,000 trainees and counting…
  • 150,000th trainee announced: Salina Klair, 16 from Handsworth Wood, Birmingham
  • 7,000 young people trained as part of The Challenge
  • Over 900 people attend the eighth Grand Final of Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
  • Antonia Swinson appointed as new Chief Executive
  •  Jez Sweetland leaves Speakers Trust after 5 years.


  • Jen MacKay announced as Trainer of the Year
  • Following successful pilot in Herefordshire from Four Acre Trust, Speakers Trust secures increased funding to run Four Acre Trust “Speak Out” Challenge! in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Rhondda, Powys, Blaenau Gwent & Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouth, Newport & Torfaen.


  • Ore Ogungbayi announced as Trainer of the Year
  • Formal merger between Andrew Ducker Memorial Speakers Trust and SpeakersBank, resulting in name change to Speakers Trust and formal charitable registration
  • Funding secured from the Rank Foundation to appoint a Fundraising Manager
  • Celebration event having trained 100,000 participants hosted by John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons in the State Rooms at the Palaces of Westminster and launch of first Annual Review
  • Speakers Trust receives funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation to run our Environmentally Speaking programme
  • Speakers Trust secures pilot funding from Four Acre Trust to run “Speak Out” Challenge! Herefordshire.


  • Alastair Brunker announced as Trainer of the Year
  • Continuation of key funded programmes: Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! and Citi Foundation “Financially Speaking”
  • Further funding from the Joseph Rank Trust to provide “Seeing is Believing” training.


  • Caroline Clark announced as the first Trainer of the Year
  • Over 28,000 people trained.


  • 40 Associates Trainers in place
  • Core funding provided from the Rank Foundation for 3 years support
  • Jack Petchey programme grows to train 15,000 young people in the year
  • Over 20,000 people trained.


  • Jack Petchey Foundation grant received to run Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! in all London secondary schools (400+) for up to 10,000 young people
  • SpeakersBank becomes the training arm of Andrew Ducker Memorial Speakers Trust
  • Jez Sweetland appointed as part-time CEO
  • Over 18,000 people trained.


  • 35 Associate Trainers and 40+ potential associates in place. Close to 10,000 trained
  • World Youth Congress training, Stirling University, led by Pamela Symes
  • Over 10,000 people trained.


  • Received funding from the Home Office Active Community Directorate’s National Exemplar Fund. Only 22 out of 500 organisations applying received funding. Full evaluation of SUSO carried out, 93% of commissioners said that they felt the Speak Up! Speak Out! Programme had improved communication skills of participants (the ability to speak, listen, feedback and evaluate). 91% of participants said they would recommend the course to others
  • Citi Foundation agree to sponsor the Financially Speaking programme
  • Over 8,000 people trained.


  • Sue Warner receives individual Greater London National Training Award – setting up SUSO
  • First schools programme started in Islington – Find your Voice, Find a Job. Run in all Islington secondary schools organised by the Educational Business Partnership (EBP) and sponsored by the Islington Chamber of Commerce with Neighbourhood Renewal funding
  • YMCA Y Speak Programme – SUSO programme with young people going to speak at the European Parliament (attended by 7,000+)
  • Over 6,000 people trained.


  • SpeakersBank formally constituted and launch held at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund offices
  • National Centre for Volunteering hand over responsibility for the SUSO programme to SpeakersBank
  • Tendered and won the Millennium Commission contract to deliver training to Millennium Award Holders through 8 Regional Conferences
  • Over 4,000 trained.


  • First Official SpeakersBank meeting held.


  • Sue Warner introduces Speak Up! Speak Out! (SUSO) initially as Charity Communicators involving volunteer members of Toastmaster speaker Clubs
  • First SUSO event at the National Association of Volunteer Bureau annual conference, this was followed by many workshops and training days with charities and community groups
  • UN International Year of Volunteers Speak Up! Speak Out! (SUSO) becomes a central theme in England
  • Home Office secondee, Phil Thomas, appointed to head the SUSO programme based at the National Centre for Volunteering
  • SUSO bursary received thanks to Joseph Rank Trust
  • Over 2,000 trained during this time with outstanding feedback.


  • Peter Curtis-Allen & Iain Wesley set up a charitable trust specifically to help people who wanted to learn to speak in public
  • The trust was named Andrew Ducker Memorial Speakers Trust in honour of Andrew Ducker, a Speakers Club member, who had progressed from a nervous, tentative speaker to a confident, inspirational speaker
  • The trustees promoted the benefits of being able to speak in public and supported the formation of community speakers clubs.

Participant Quote

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Workshop Participant

Top Ten Tips

9) Tell a Story

Help your audience to visualise, empathise and remember.  Use a story to build emotion and understanding.

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