Speak to entertain, win prizes

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The 2013 Pansy Hardy Speech to Entertain competition is up-and-coming on Dixie State University campus.

The participants of the speech competition this year will have to cultivate a speech that will entertain the competition. It is required to be between eight–10 minutes. 

The speech competition will take place Nov. 8 with the application deadline Oct. 25.

Scholarship prizes range from $150-1,000 for the top three winners.

Karly Walton, a senior communication major from South Jordan, was one of the top three speakers in last year’s persuasive competition. Walton said she was persuaded to join the speech competition last year because of her background and for the rewards.

“I have a background in speech/debate and was thrilled to be able to participate in such an event,” Walton said. “Also, the scholarships offered to the top three speakers were a definite incentive. Overall, win or lose, it’s just great exposure to the public speaking arena. Not to mention how fun it was to hear all the different speech contents.”

Walton’s topic last year was on the power of love. She was inspired by the Sandy Hook massacre, and she wanted to believe in humanity again. Her speech was about love and tolerance, and they were the keys to defending against such heinous acts.

Walton said students should participate in this event because it is a great experience.

“Despite this being a competitive event, just come and have fun,” Walton said. “Whether you walk away with a scholarship or not, you get what you put into it. Public speaking can be utterly frightening. The fact you had the courage to participate means you are all winners. Not to mention it’s a fantastic atmosphere to meet people and hear their entertaining ideas.”

Kathleen Briggs, secretary of the department of communication at DSU, said Dixie State has a great history of forensics evidenced by the trophy case in the north hall of the Jennings building. Due to staffing and budget limitations, it was canceled until last spring when Dixie held the first Antone and Cola Bowler Persuasive Speech Competition. In addition to that annual event, DSU has the Pansy Hardy Speech to Entertain Competition, which will be held each fall. It begins this semester.

Briggs said the judges are looking at the overall quality of the presentation and speech.

“Generally, the judges will be looking for speaker-audience relations, use of language, quality of delivery and the quality of entertainment,” Briggs said.

Briggs said there are multiple reasons why a student should participate in this speech contest.

“The easy answer is money, but that will only affect three of the participants,” Briggs said. “The overarching aim, however, is for participants to come away from their preparation and delivery with greater confidence in their public speaking abilities — something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”