The University of Akron's School of Communication recently hosted its first annual speech contest at the Martin Center. Nearly 300 faculty, family and fellow students listened as the top five general education speech students gave polished and professional presentations April 24. The untimely "popping" of a balloon in the room did not faze the speaker who had the microphone at the time.
Dr. Elizabeth Graham, director and professor, School of Communication, welcomed those in attendance to the competition and stated it was a way for students to practice and polish their speaking skills. Master of Ceremonies, Dr. John Zipp, associate dean, Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, spoke of the benefits of speech courses as a requirement in each degree curriculum.
Presenters were judged on delivery, content, organization and their visual aid presentation. Each speaker clearly demonstrated that she or he had spent much time researching their respective topics. Content ranged from hard data and statistics to whimsical and even inspirational. Each student participated in several elimination rounds before reaching the top level. Dr. Graham further stated: "Each public speaking course nominated one student. These students then competed for the five available finalist spots."