Posted at 10:20 p.m. April 22, 2016

Speech contest still open to students

The Laramie County Community College communications department will host a speech contest on May 2 in the Health Science building. Anybody is welcome to come, at no charge.

Spectators are welcome and encouraged to attend, said speech instructor Josh Peterson, though the communication department does require spectators to stay for the duration of the round that they are observing, as opposed to watching a friend give a speech then leaving in the middle of the round. Such behavior is seen as rude, and it is discouraging and stressful to the students who have yet to present in the round; therefore, the communications department has created the guideline to keep spectators seated and observing for the entirety of the round.

Students can still get involved, but only students currently involved in a speech class are allowed to compete. While the communications department is looking at creating another, separate competition for students not currently involved in a speech class, one does not currently exist.

Speeches must be between 5 and 7 minutes long, may not include a visual aid, and can be done in any style of formal speech. Speeches should have sources, but the judges will not be basing scores on the presence or lack of sources. In a series of rounds, students present their speeches to a panel of judges in small groups. The best speech of the group is sent to the next round, then again, then again until the student with the best speech wins, Peterson said.

Speeches that have won in the past include a speech about the effects of tobacco on the human body and a speech about cattle insemination, both natural and artificial.

The award is used to reward the students who have put hours of hard work into their speeches and to encourage other students to participate in the speech contest, as well as working harder on their speeches in the classroom.

The award was originally set at a total of $450 but has recently been upgraded to a total award of $600 that the communications department separates and gives to the different winners. This semester, all winners also receive a $30 gift card to the Laramie County Community College Bookstore.

The award is technically a scholarship, but if the winner’s student balance is paid, the winning student is simply awarded the money outright.

This event was started by Peterson and the other speech teachers to encourage students to work hard on their speeches and to give those who do put in a lot of effort the chance to present their speeches and get some competition, feedback and rewards.