Bow School

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Presentation Skills Final

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Presentation Skills Final

On Wednesday 20th June the four Bow students who had reached the final of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Presentation Skills competition nervously went to the bank’s headquarters in London, the prestigious King Edward Hall, for the ultimate test - to perform their presentations and be judged against two other Tower Hamlets’ schools, Mulberry and Swanlea.

From two weeks before the pressure had begun to get intense as the finalists, Ethan Fletcher, Mohibur Rahman, Salah Sirad and reserve Abdul Raouf, all worked really hard putting finishing touches to their powerpoints and being relentlessly rehearsed in performing and polishing their presentations.

All too soon it was the big day!

After having to sit a Science exam in the morning there was just time for a final ‘tweak’ before an early lunch and setting off to King Edward’s Hall close by St Paul's Cathedral in the heart of the City of London.

Fortunately we were a little early and the students had a short respite to enjoy some June sunshine in the garden next door before going in to meet the other teams and be put through a full dress rehearsal, getting used to the big stage and screen and to being ‘miked-up’.

The students also drew lots for the order they would speak in and Bow would go second, fifth and eighth.

It was great that the team from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML) and the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership (THEBP), who the students already knew from the heats, were on hand to support and encourage, to provide last minute advice and help them get through the nerve racking wait for the start!

After a break for refreshments the judges and speakers arrived along with the supporters, the coach load from Bow included members of the student’s families as well as staff, students and governors, a very welcome boost to the student’s confidence.

One of the speakers was Tim Loughton MP who took the time to speak to each group of contestants before the start.

Hannah Jackson from THEBP then opened proceedings and the evening had begun!

Our first student was Salah Sirad speaking on ‘ROLE MODELS’ his presentation was very amusing and enlightening but rather embarrassing for one audience member – his older brother - who it turned out was Salah’s own role model – not least for coming third in this very competition!

Next was Ethan Fletcher asking the audience to consider the LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS – GOOD OR BAD? Unlike Salah, Ethan was in direct competition with one of the other contestants who had chosen to speak on the same subject! Ethan presented very well coming up with at least one piece of infromation the opposition had missed - the idea of roller-skating grannies!

Last to go for Bow was Mohibur Rahman who gave his extremely assured presentation on the subject of CREDIT CARDS – LIBERATING OR PARALYZING? He also involved the audience making them cringe at the thought a massive bill landing on the mat each month and drawing the conclusion that no matter how responsibly you use credit cards it is probably better not to overspend...we wondered what the bankers in the audience thought of that!   

Then the ordeal was over just the wait for the results to endure!

Refreshments were served while the judges deliberated but they proved to be little distraction.

When we returned to our seats the reserve finalists got their turn on stage to give a vote of thanks to the organisers, judges and speakers and to present a bouquet to Hannah.

Then all the contestants received a medal and certificate and it was finally time for the announcement we had all been waiting for...

In third place – SALAH SIRAD of BOW!

In second place – Maria Amin of Mulberry 

And the winner is – Wahida Tasnim of Mulberry

We were all delighted with the result and Salah received a trophy to keep and one for the school to display until the next competition.

There was a bonus for all the students on the way home when our headteacher, Mrs Smith, gave all the finalists vouchers they had also been awarded for their participation!

 A very fitting end to a big day for Bow!


Following his success Salah Sirad was quoted by one of the judges, Lucy Kellaway, (Management Columnist for the Financial Times) in her article ‘Don’t aim for the top unless you feel lucky.’ published in the Financial Times on 24th June as speaking with “precision and wit about his role model”. Another success for Salah! Click here to see full artical.