School of Communication Studies hosts public speaking contest

The University of Tennessee’s School of Communication Studies hosted the McClung Public Speaking Contest on Thursday, Oct. 29, in the Cox Auditorium.

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The University of Tennessee’s School of Communication Studies hosted the McClung Public Speaking Contest  on Thursday, Oct. 29, in the Cox Auditorium.

The contest is the largest speaking contest in the southeast. Students who spoke were selected by their professors as the best speakers in their section. These students went through semi-finals, which included 14 students, to get to the finals.

The contest began with sophomore Maggie Akins, whose speech was titled “Three Founders of Psychotherapy.” She gave audience members insight into the beginnings of mental health care and, more specifically, the people who contributed to it. The three main points in her speech were the people she considers the most important to psychotherapy: Viktor Frankl, Alfred Adler and Sigmund Freud.

The second speaker was Jacqueline Winstead, a freshman who spoke about the water crisis in African countries. She began by pointing out that in the United States citizens do not worry about where their water comes from or if it is safe to drink, while in African countries, they are not so lucky as to have the same resources. Winstead had personal experience related to the topic and used her knowledge of the region, as well as photos she took, to inform the audience.

The next speaker, Katie Plank, spoke about “Chinese Chatspeak.” She began by teaching the audience about how mandarin is spoken and then continued into her main points. Plank spoke about Chinese emoticons, acronyms and puns.

In between speeches, the UT Athletic Department put on a fashion show to model some of the new Vols gear and encourage students to join the student rewards program in order to receive shirts, sweatshirts, hats and gift cards.

Chloe Lane then began her topic, “Cultural Respect Towards the Hijab.” She spoke about why the hijab exists, why it is still culturally important today and why it is important to a Muslim woman’s identity. She used scholarly reviewed articles and information she  gathered from her classes to back up her main points.

The last speaker was freshman Collin Hall. Her speech on “Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, England” included information about four major aspects of the theater: the physical building, the audience, the productions and the current state of the Globe Theater.

The audience was asked to fill out an evaluation form, including how they ranked the speakers from 1-5 and why.

The contest was brought to a close by a door-prize giveaway from sponsors such as Insomnia Cookies, Cheesecake Factory, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McKay’s and other businesses in the Knoxville area.

Then the winners were announced. After deliberation, the order of speakers from fifth to first place was Jacquline Winstead, Chloe Lane, Collin Hall, Katie Plank and Maggie Akins. All the speakers were congratulated by the judges.

Parker Keith, a freshman at UT, was in the audience.

“The speakers all seemed very prepared and knowledgeable about what they were saying and I learned a lot about each topic,” Keith said. “Even though it was required for me to be here for my communication studies class, I’m definitely glad I came.”

Featured image by Ryan McGill

Edited by Courtney Anderson