After more than a decade, Nall Speakoff going strong

Richard Kelly

Thursday, the Nall Speak-off paired the top six students of Washburn’s public speaking classes as voted by their peers. The winner of the event received $500.

The event began in 1998, and wasn’t initially funded by the university. It’s grown quietly yet steadily since, and is now sponsored by the communications department. The event itself is named after Robert Nall, the benefactor of the event. This year, the speak-off included topics such as Green Tea, how to properly assume a leadership role and being aware of the effects and consequences of alcohol consumption.

The six speeches were each between five and 10 minutes long, and many used interactive questions or props to engage the audience of 50 to 60 parents, students and faculty members.

When the six speeches were completed, the judges compiled their scores and determined the winner. The second and first place winners were separated by three points, and Qianqian Ruan, an English major, was victorious, narrowly edging out Haley Pinon. Ruan spoke about a small group of people in China she was aware of who had special customs of marriage, and found their spouse through a rather unorthodox method. Her reaction was one of pure joy when she was announced as the winner by Steve Doubledee, assistant director of forensics.

“I can’t even believe it. I actually won. I feel very proud of this opportunity,” said Ruan. “I feel it’s a chance to introduce my culture to others and it feels really amazing.”