Speech Festival Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Open and Non-open competition?

Many parents ask us this question.


This is for native speakers (English as a first language). The adjudicators have high standards. However, for children who are younger than P1 or for older children who want more practice and exposure, it is still well worth entering.



This is for non-native speakers usually attending mainstream (local) schools. In the rules, it states that students who violate this rule will have marks deducted but it is difficult really for adjudicators to know and many children are bi-lingual with both languages at native standard.

What is the difference between prose reading and prose speaking?

Prose Speaking

The piece must be memorised fully.

Prose Reading

The piece MUST NOT be memorised (marks will be deducted otherwise).

The student MUST hold the book.

An extract from the book will be chosen by the adjudicator (usually different for each student).

There is no need to quote the name of the book and author unless the adjudicator states it is needed.

Should my child do actions?

We do not recommend actions. Most adjudicators deduct marks for unnatural movements. The poem should be performed through VOICE and FACIAL EXPRESSION with natural body movements. When actions are forced, it is not truly felt. However, there are a few adjudicators who like actions. 

Teachers with little experience of the requirements generally teach children actions and we 'unteach' them. 

Is it necessary to bow?

It is not a requirement. However, most students do so in which case it should be quick but polite (adjudicators get bored).

What is suggested is brief eye to eye contact with the adjudicator and a GENUINE smile before starting (once started the student should look at the whole audience not the adjudicator).

How can I enter my child for the Speech Festival?

Some schools select students to represent the school.

Some schools offer entry for all students.

If your child is not selected or the school does not offer enrolment, please contact us and we will explain how you can still enroll your child.

How do I choose the right poem for my child?

Do not choose the shortest one because it is short. These tend to be more technically difficult.

Let your child try the poems.

We have a poem selection service which you can find here if you want to find the best match for your child's personality/voice.

My child was not selected by his or her school. Can he or she still enter?

Yes. See above.

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