IPA Speaker's Cup 2023

Talk about an industry issue you feel strongly about in under three minutes with no notes and no slides

A competition in the art of presenting persuasively. Make a brilliant two-minute speech without PowerPoint about a significant adland-related topic that interests you.

The Sixth IPA Speaker’s Cup, October 2023, powered by Graham Singleton of Make Yourself.

Anyone who has watched Mad Men can’t fail to admire Don Draper's presentations. Hear how he sells the Carousel idea to a technically-minded Kodak client

Sadly the art of the persuasive sell is dying. We just don’t see this kind of clever, inspirational two-minute speech anymore. Instead what we see are hundreds of slides, which fail to deliver the message or captivate the audience. Adland is losing the ability to get on its feet and speak from the heart, which is why we created The Speaker’s Cup, now in its sixth year.

The challenge:

To make a brilliant two-minute speech without PowerPoint. The speech needs to be about a significant adland-related topic that interests you. The following are just some examples of topics, but the attendees can choose their own: META, sustainability and greenwashing, diversity, AI in advertising, the impact of burnout on the industry, the gender pay gap,  the cost of living crisis and the industry's wages.

Why do I feel so uncomfortable talking about the fact that I'm working class...this industry is not designed for people like me to succeed.

2022 Winner Lee Mabey on classism in the industry

Competition criteria

One entrant per agency.
The speech needs to be between 2-3 minutes long. No more. No slides.


The speeches will be judged by tutor Graham Singleton, Creative Salon Worldwide's Claire Beale and IPA CPD Adviser Gwyn March. The winning speech will be decided on its likelihood of persuading the advertising industry to act on its chosen topic.


In honour of hybrid working the first session of pure training will take place on:

  • Monday 30 October, 9.00 am – 12.30 pm via Zoom
  • Thursday 9 November, 12.30 to 17.30 pm, live at the IPA.

There will be rehearsals, training and feedback with the tutor.  Followed by the competition itself in front of a panel and (regulations allowing) celebratory drinks.

Our Promise

  • The winning agency gets a free half day’s presentation training (worth £1,250) from Graham, or one of his colleagues, at Make Yourself, plus £300.
  • There are also individual prizes of £150 for second-place as well as for the 'best use of story to sell either creative work, an idea, or a strategy'.
  • In addition, the winning presentations will, with the presenter's permission, be featured on the IPA site and the Cup - with the winner’s name - displayed at your agency.

Graham Singleton

Prior to starting Make Yourself, Graham worked at advertising agencies O&M, Y&R, DMB&B and Leo Burnett. Over the last 16 years, he has trained in over 50 companies including Google, AirBnB, LinkedIn, BBC, IBM, BAe Systems, ITN, Channel 4, The Guardian, Just Eat, GfK and many agencies including Publicis Groupe, Ogilvy, DDB, Imagination, The & Partnership, M&C Saatchi and Talon.   

If you have questions please email: [email protected] or [email protected].

Last updated 01 May 2024