For the first time this spring, the School of Communication, Media and Journalism will be hosting a speech contest. The preliminary round of the contest will be taking place April 1, 2 and 3 in the Miron Student Center Little Theatre, while the final round will take place May 1. This contest will allow any and all interested students to showcase their public speaking skills and compete for a $100 prize.
The inspiration and organization of the contest came from Professor Allison Edgley, who recently became a lecturer at Kean’s School of Communication, Media and Journalism after working as an adjunct across multiple universities.
“Other schools ran similar contests with their public speaking courses, and I decided I would urge some of my best to enter,” Edgley said. “When one of my students won, I saw how much confidence was gained, so I thought it would be a great way to showcase our department as well as give students a larger voice. This is a way to increase discourse among all departments on campus and also get students invested in their interpersonal skills.”
To apply, the application can be found at Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 402, and the completed application can be dropped off at the same office. Otherwise, students can request an application by emailing Edgley at firstname.lastname@example.org, and email the form back to her once it's filled out. To be eligible to participate, the application must be submitted by March 15.
Once again, the preliminary round of the contest will be taking place April 1, 2 and 3 in the Miron Student Center Little Theatre, while the final round will take place May 1. All speeches must be five to seven minutes in length and persuasive in style, based off of the persuasive speech format taught in the Communication as Critical Citizenship (COMM 1402) class all Kean students are required to take.
While this contest is being run through the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), students from any area of study are welcome, and even encouraged, to participate.
“We strongly urge students from outside of the CLA to enter. Public speaking is not just for communication or education students,” Edgley said. “It is not just about listening to the sound of our voice, rather connecting to and with others. By having students from all backgrounds and fields enter, we can help to reduce stereotypes and misconceptions as well.”
Edgley believes that taking part in this opportunity can benefit students in ways that intersect with both their personal and work lives.
“My hope is that students increase their confidence and gain courage speaking in front of audiences. I want students to be able to express themselves freely and ethically by furthering the skills they have learned in class as well. This is also a positive talking point for a resume and can set a student apart during an interview,” Edgley said.
Additionally, Edgley believes that mastering the art of public speaking is a skill that can translate positively to multiple situations in life.
“Public speaking is a skill that can help a student express their feelings, attitudes and beliefs in a constructive manner. Many employers want to hire individuals who can clearly articulate ideas and negotiate,” Edgley said. “Students who excel at public speaking exhibit ethics by using critically evaluated research, logic through rational evidence and support, and passion when connecting with others through stories or anecdotes.”
For additional information, questions and inquiries can be directed toward Edgley via her email at email@example.com.