Students to engage in the power of public speaking

Students interested in informative and persuasive speaking will get the opportunity Friday, May 20, to gain critical thinking skills with the fourth annual Speech Tournament.

The tournament will take place in several locations throughout the Village and the Great Hall. Michelle Silver, associate speech professor, said it will be a great opportunity for Speech 101 students to gain speaking skills.

“The students are really excited about the event. It’s a great experience,” Silver said. They’re really developing the requisite skill that they need for public speaking.”

The Speech Tournament started about four years ago. Before that there had not been one beforehand since the seventies according to Silver.

“I really felt that the department needed it [speech tournament],” Silver said. “We needed an opportunity for students to really take the oratory skills that they’re learning in their public speaking classes and challenge themselves to go outside of the class and have an opportunity to really develop those skills in a friendly competitive environment.”

The tournament consists of two categories. One being a persuasive speech and the other an informative speech.

Communications Professor Yeprem Davoodian said it will be a great opportunity for students to gain critical skills.

“They will inform us about the world and demonstrate their organizational and critical thinking skills with their informative and persuasive speeches,” Davoodian said.

Criminal Justice major, Francisco Arambula, hopes to persuade his audience that Hispanics are hardworking people.

“I’m really passionate about equality here in Southern California especially here in the valley,” Arambula said.  “What I’m going to be focusing on is how we [Hispanics] are 40 percent of the population but 90 percent of the poverty.”

The tournament will have two rounds. The first round will be held in several rooms in the village and the second round will be held at the Great Hall.

“We have students pre-signed up for the informative or persuasive category, and they’re assigned to go either into an informative speaking room or a persuasive speaking room where they are judged by our first round judges,” Silver said.

In the final round round there will be a top 10. It will be 5 students from each of the categories. At the end of the tournament those who place first, second, and third will be awarded according to Silver.

“ASO has generously sponsored the event with providing the lunch and also the trophies,” Silver said. “Students placing in first place, second place, and third place in both categories earn cash prizes by ASO. First place wins $200, second place wins $100, and third places wins $75.”

Lunch will be provided for the students participating and for students in the audience as well. The tournament will be catered by Subway, and a DJ will be there for entertainment.

“We’re looking forward to seeing our students creating a community of engagement through the use of public speaking,” Davoodian said.

“Providing an opportunity for our students to voice themselves in an environment supported by their peers is priceless. In addition, audience members will have an opportunity to observe their classmates and the power of public speaking.”