Speak out for Engineering

Are you looking for an opportunity to develop your presentation skills? Are you a talented public speaker looking for a new challenge?

Speak Out for Engineering is a competition for young engineers designed to help develop verbal and visual communication in explaining technical mechanical engineering related subjects.

COVID-19 update

The Institution continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and, in line with UK Government and World Health Organisation guidelines, has implemented measures to mitigate the impact on our members, volunteers and staff around the world. This includes the transition to organise more of the Institution’s activities through virtual means.

All remaining 2020 Speak Out for Engineering (SOfE) competition heats have been moved to a virtual platform. The competitions will be carried out in different physical locations with the competitors, SOfE organiser, judging panellists and audience members all present through video conferencing. SOfE guidance documents for 2020 have been revised to reflect this move to a virtual platform.

The competition

The competition is organised and run annually by the Young Members of the Institution. Established in 1964, the competition continues to challenge young engineers to prove that they can communicate effectively. It is specifically concerned with verbal and visual communication in describing and explaining technical subjects.

Speak Out for Engineering (SOfE) competition heats take place across the globe, with over 60 set to run in 2020. Winners from each heat are invited to participate in their regional final and the winners of the regional finals will be invited to participate in the Global Final, the winner of which will be crowned the overall SOfE 2020 winner.


Competitors must give an oral presentation on a mechanical engineering subject to be broken down as follows:

  • Presentation length: 20 mins
  • Discussion and questions from judges: 10 mins.

90% of the total marks are given for presentation with only 10% for technical content. This ensures that while all presentations must have mechanical engineering content in its broadest sense (e.g. purpose, research, design, feasibility and practicality), a topic concerning comparatively ‘low’ technology has an equal chance of success as one which is technologically very complex.

Who can enter

The competition is open to any Affiliate, Associate or Young Member of the Institution who has been professionally registered for ten years or less.

Full details of eligibility criteria are available in the Competitor's Guidance Document.


Prizes are awarded to 1st and 2nd places in all competition heats and the regional and global finals.

  • 1st Prize - £300 & certificate
  • 2nd Prize - £200 & certificate.
  • The decision of the judges on the award of the prizes shall be final.

    Prizes are funded from the Institution’s Trust for Education and Research.

    How to Enter

    SOFE competition heats are organised by volunteers from our region NearYou webpage for a list of upcoming competition heats. Alternatively, please contact your Regional Young Member Representative whose contact details can on each regional NearYou webpage.

    Full details of the competition and the registration process are available in the Competitor's Guidance Document.

    Organise a SOfE competition

    If you are interested in organising a SOFE competition, please contact your Regional Young Member Representative. Contact details can be found on each regional NearYou webpage.

    Further information can be found in the Speak Out for Engineering Organiser's Guidance Document.

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