Public Speaking Contest

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Contestants deliver a 10-11 minute persuasive speech advocating change or alteration in existing attitudes, values, beliefs, and actions (policy changes, reconsideration of issues, public deliberation) on a highly controversial public issue. No audio or visual aids permitted. Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Selected students should submit their application to participate on this form that includes the student’s name, major, year in school, contact information, title of presentation, abstract, course, and professor by 31 March 2018. 

Top speakers are chosen by class vote and instructor vetting from each of the RHET 101 Public Speaking sections. In 2018, we will have five finalists. 

Students are judged on the following bases:

  1. Speaker makes a quality persuasive case: Sound, well-structured arguments; quality evidence; superb blend of proofs, including appropriate rational, ethical, and emotional appeals; and demonstrated fidelity to the evidence.

  2. Organization: Speaker uses appropriate, clear, purposeful, and effective structure; the speech evidences sound internal dynamics (introductions, transitions, conclusions); the order is appropriate to the purpose, subject, and audience.

  3. Style: Speaker uses moving, thought-provoking language; appropriately correct (grammar, pronunciation), clear (accurate), and adapted to the subject and audience.  

  4. Delivery: Speaker demonstrates excellent command and use of voice (volume, pitch, rate, enunciation, pauses, animation/energy, appropriate variation, absence of verbal fillers) and action (gestures, body movement, posture, eye contact, facial expressions, general demeanor).

  5. Audience adaptation: Speaker adapts the message to all elements of the rhetorical situation (time constraints, forum, occasion, context, audience, plus elements noted above), is aware of and responsive to audience questions and feedback, and adheres to appropriate standards of ethics.