Students showcase speaking skills in Nall Speak Off

Final six: (From left to right) The finalists for the Fall 2018 Nall Speak Off Competition include Gabrielle Eitutis, Courtney Diec, Julia Kofoid, Amira Linson, Omar Morales and Jacob Andrews. Amira Linson won first place at the competition. 

Washburn students, faculty and staff came to the semi-annual Nall Speak Off Competition Nov. 14 in Henderson Room 100. The Nall Speak Off was hosted by the communication studies department.

It is an informative speaking contest, comprised of beginning students from various sections of public speaking courses during the semester. Each course selected 1-3 of their top students to represent their classes with the topics of their choices.

Steve Doubledee is the assistant director of the communication studies. He opened the Nall Speak Off by introducing the competition, judges and participants.

“It reminds me [of] the Nall family [who] has definitely supported the event and provide the scholarship,” said Doubledee. “This semester we have 23 competitors of students.”

This semester’s participants included Linghan Zhang, Yuxin Zheng, Fangying Zhu, Kejie Feng, Courtney Diec, Olivia Lopez, Luck Phelps-Roper, Gillian Witzke, Hunter Creech, Julia Kofoid, Omar Morales, Robyn Kelley, Gabrielle Eitutis, Collin Brown, Amanda Zoetmulder, Alex Kolodka, Abbie Barth, Jacob Andrews, Amira Linson, Bruce Ding, Xiaoyu Han, Jiahua Shao and Xiao Yue.

Six students in the finalists performed in front of judges this semester.

Sixth place was awarded to Gabrielle Eitutis, student at Washburn Rural High School. She gave a presentation on the effects of pornography and how it influences people’s opinions and changes their life.

Fifth place was awarded to Jacob Andrews, who presented information about credit scores. Andrews is a senior majoring in actuarial science and economics. He pointed out that not many students use credit cards in their life. He emphasized the importance of one’s credit scores.

Fourth place was awarded to Julia Kofoid, senior at Washburn Rural High School. Kofoid talked about the death penalty and its influences with real-world examples.

Third place was awarded to Courtney Diec with the an informational presentation about dreams. Diec is a senior at Topeka West High School. She spoke about the study of human’s dreams and how the brain works when people are asleep.

Second place was awarded to Omar Morales, student at Washburn Rural High School. Morales delivered information about Mariana Trend, which is located in the western Pacific Ocean with the deepest natural point in the world.

Amira Linson, majoring in business marketing and entrepreneurship, won first place for her speech about Adderall. Linson talked about the harmful side effects of Adderall on human bodies and what attitude people should hold toward it.

It was never easy to stand in front of people and give a presentation. Linson talked about her feelings and why she chose the Adderall topic after getting the first-place award.

“I am surprised. I’ve never done a speech competition,” said Linson. “I definitely think it can make people more aware [about] what could happen to you if you are addicted to drugs.”

Students showcased their public speaking skills in the Nall Speak Off Competition. They also raised the audience’s awareness about the importance of their selected topics.