Financially Speaking 2011 – Winner Announced!

Speakers Trust and the Citi Foundation invited Dragon’s Den’s Evan Davis to name Alex Palfreman of St Bonaventure’s Comprehensive Catholic School the winner of its Financially Speaking Final, at the packed venue of Bridewell Hall, central London.

“Not only was this very worthwhile, it was also tremendous fun!” said Davis of the event.

Representatives from 20 schools around London came together to compete for the title after participating in training delivered by Speakers Trust (sponsored by the Citi Foundation). The programme combines training in financial awareness with public speaking skills to empower young people to manage their money and express themselves coherently in situations that could determine their financial futures.

Alex’s speech focused on ‘balancing finances’ and the importance of balance between saving and spending for long-term stability – a message that resonates throughout the world in 2011.

The Financially Speaking training and competition has been supported by the Citi Foundation since its inception. Simon Bailey, Vice President, Citigroup attended the event and said: “To be involved with this competition is a genuine pleasure thanks to the strength of the participants and their superb speeches. The thoughtful, touching and passionate content was delivered expertly by young people whom I firmly believe could be the future leaders of this country!”

All 20 participants spoke passionately about their subjects and strongly demonstrated the skills they learnt during the programme. But the judges were only able to invite three contestants up to the podium. They were:

· Second runner up: Daniel Beckley, St Michael’s Catholic College, Southwark

· First runner up: Naomi Walters, St Martins in the Field, Lambeth

· Winner: Alex Palfreman, St Bonaventure’s Comprehensive Catholic School , Forest Gate

Dragon’s Den’s Evan Davis was joined on the judging panel by Radha Chakraborty – Operations Director of Comic Relief, Iltaph Khaliq – Business Manager, Europe Middle East & Africa, Cross Asset Group, Citigroup, Simon Bailey – Vice President of Citigroup and Francesca Lagerberg – Speakers Trust Trustee and Head of Tax at Grant Thornton UK LLP, who chaired the judging panel, along with last year’s winner Fame Alohan-Eke. Fame said: “It was a wonderful evening, full of talented young people with lots of meaningful things to say. Every person taking part is truly a winner. I am very privileged and honoured to get the chance to watch and judge them!”

Jeremy Sweetland, Chief Executive of Speakers Trust, said: “The importance of teaching young people the crucial life skills of financial literacy and public speaking is self-evident – and all the more so in this challenging economy. The impact of tonight’s competition, 20 challenging, entertaining and well-performed speeches, further underlines the value and opportunity that this programme provides.”

Sweetland went on to say “I would also like to personally thank the Citi Foundation for the ongoing support and sponsorship of this innovative programme, including the volunteers who are supported by Citigroup to give their time to local schools. We also like to thank the many teachers in the schools who have given Speakers Trust their support, time and effort to ensure this training can benefit their young people”.

Watch the winning speech here.


Participant Quote

I had a wonderful experience and became more aware of my strengths and how to build on them.

Lalita Mondker

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3) Structure Your Talk

Use a clear structure –  beginning, middle and end. This will help keep your mind focused on what you want to say next.

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