Sydney Speaking School

Learn by doing.

Student Centred

Safe. Fun. Educational. These are the three tiers that make up our core teaching philosophy, with our students at the centre of each.


Practice Makes Perfect

Central to our teaching philosophy is that students learn by doing.  We keep our classes small to ensure every student has their turn, and receives extensive personal feedback.


As our founders know, it is hard to build the confidence to speak.  We do our best to make sure every student is comfortable in their class to help them get over their fears.


The ability to speak in public is a lifelong skill.  We do our best to ensure that each of our students learns something that they will carry with them for years to come.

Our Story

Sydney Speaking School is the brainchild of solicitor Mark Slaven and Knox Debating MIC Daniel Dummer.  Having met and bonded through debating in their undergraduate days, both were concerned at the lack of good quality education in public speaking for school students on the North Shore of Sydney. The team was joined by Benjamin Hewitt, one of Sydney Speaking School’s most experienced coaches, when Daniel stepped down in early 2016. Using their combined skills honed through years of experience, Benjamin and Mark continue to bring excellence to the fore using fun and engaging courses targeted at improving the speaking skills of primary and senior school students.

Mark Slaven

Mark Slaven

Managing Director

Mark, a former commercial lawyer, has been an avid debater and public speaker since high school, and has competed in more national and international competitions than he is able to count. Most recently he added to his resume as the runner up in Ron Shorter Memorial Award, put on by the Australian Insurance Law Association.

As the former business manager of Speak Out Education, ex-Chief Adjudicator of the prestigious FED interschool debating competition and an honorary life member of the Macquarie University Debating Society, Mark is devoted to using his experience to teach the next generation of speakers.

Ben Hewitt

Ben Hewitt

Managing Director

Ben has been debating for over a decade, in high school he was in the Grand Final of the premiers debating challenge for two years running, winning it in his final year. He is a respected member of the debating community with 4 years of coaching experience. Ben’s passion for teaching is only rivalled by his love of debating, he is an active member of the debating community and continues to adjudicate the Eastside Competition, HICES and Premier’s High School debating competitions, among others.

Ben is the former president of the University of Wollongong Debating Society. He has competed and adjudicated at numerous international tournaments and domestic tournaments and has progressed to the finals series on numerous occasions.