Students showcase verbal skills in the annual ‘speak off’

Students showcase verbal skills in the annual 'speak off'

On April 4, Washburn University hosted its annual spring “Nall Speak Off.”

For public speaking students, the event is designed to showcase the student’s voices in front of a panel of judges in the hopes of winning a $500 scholarship sponsored by Robert Nall, a 1990 graduate of the communication department at Washburn University.

Anyone who has ever taken part of one of the public speaking courses offered at Washburn University knows that taking part in the “Nall Speak Off” is both a challenging and valuable experience regarding talents in public speaking. Many students who are part of the public speaking course have a slight fear of public speaking.

That’s why instructors of the public speaking course would all like their students to participate; not only does the scholarship competition offer a chance for the students to overcome their fear, but it also gives them a chance to watch others perform in a learning environment.

This year, as the spring “Nall Speak Off” commenced, 16 young students prepared and performed their speeches in front of four preliminary judges in two separate rooms of morgan. Then, as the judges make cuts for the final round, all contestants moved into Henderson room 100.

The final round consisted of six students who were chosen by the preliminary judges, those students being: Sarah Barnett, Angelique Flinn, Shuyue Chen, Gabrielle Ruiz, Pan Wang and Vanessa Baker. As anxious as ever, all competitors patiently awaited their performance order, and then the competition began.

First, Vanessa Baker spoke to the judges panel about internet addiction in her speech, entitled “8 Hours a Day.” Next, Shuyue Chen gave a colorful presentation to the audience and judges about “Color Psychology.” Third, Gabrielle Ruiz gave an emotionally fueled speech over “Sex Trafficking.” Then, Pan Wang informed the judge’s panel and audience members with the history of “Fortune Cookies.” Angelique Flinn then presented her speech over the “Oxfam American Leadership,” and how it has affected her life personally. Last but not least, Sarah Barnett gave her speech over the “Difference between Medical Doctors and Doctors of Osteopathic medicine.”

After patiently waiting for the judge’s results, the final rankings were announced as each contestant came forwards and shook Robert Nall’s hand as they received their award.