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Home > News and views > Eleanor Stiles

Eleanor Stiles

Eleanor has been competing in ESU-run competitions since 2016 and was a member of the winning team at the 2018-2019 ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition, where she won the ‘Best Speaker’ award. More recently she was selected to represent England and Wales at the 2020 and 2021 International Public Speaking Competitions. She tells us a bit about herself and what she gets out of her involvement with the ESU.

When did you join the ESU?
I joined the ESU while I was competing in the ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition in order to stay informed of the opportunities the ESU presents.

How do you feel you have benefitted from the ESUs competitions?
The ESU’s public speaking competitions have given me a platform to share my thoughts with others, and have given me invaluable experience in formulating, delivering and defending arguments. Through the ESU’s competitions I’ve had the opportunity to speak on issues ranging from knife crime to feminism. I’ve also made some brilliant friendships, with people I’m sure I would never have had the privilege to meet otherwise!

What words of advice do you have for other alumni/young members?
Have the confidence to speak about things you really believe in. It is much more difficult to convince others if you can’t convince yourself.

Whom do you admire and why?
It’s a tie between Dolly Parton and Audrey Hepburn. I find Hepburn’s work with UNICEF and Parton’s commitment to charity really inspiring, particularly as it is rarely recognised as part of their dominant public images. Both women come across as incredibly hard-working and as having, or having had, a strong conviction to do good in the world.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I am utterly obsessed with romance novels.

Tell us something surprising about you.
I am very, very scared of lizards. It could be a gecko or a Komodo dragon, the size doesn’t matter, I will be terrified regardless.

What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
All you can ever do is your best.

Find out more about how you can become a member here.

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