Try to be you
The final speaker at the showcase was Elsbeth Bandli. Bandli participated in forensics during high school. She learned the best thing to do when speaking in front of an audience is to truly be yourself.
“Knowing the facts and citations for a speech is important,” Bandli said. “Connecting those points through speaking like yourself makes for a great speech.”
Bandli’s speech, “Why is the Mona Lisa so Famous?” focused on the artist Leonardo da Vinci, his popularity and his techniques. And how the press boosted Mona Lisa’s popularity.
“As an Art Education major, part of my role is to teach students about art history and how it applies to their lives,” explained Bandli. “I like to keep in mind how my speech will come across to my intended audience and find how to relate to them.”
Bandli practiced her voice and tone on stage while remaining true to herself. Her comfortable confidence in front of an audience will benefit her in her future teaching career.
After Bandli gave the final speech, Mayor Knaack offered advice to the presenters.
“Pick a chair or pick a person in your audience to focus on,” Knaack said. “Deliver your speech how you’d want to hear it. Also, try to grab something the audience can relate to. Try to find their interests to hold their attention.”
Graduating seniors Kylie Anderson and Kelly Irish were welcomed to the stage. They said their Communication Studies minor gave them critical thinking, public speaking, and interpersonal skills needed to communicate their ideas.
“With the theory and practice it gave me, I feel ready to speak to anyone in the real world after graduation,” Anderson said.
Final results and the future
With the judges’ votes tallied, Professor Schutta announced the showcase winner. The Participation Award was given to Danielson. Howell received third place and Grzona second place. Bandli won first place at the showcase.
“The judges commented on how I positively engaged with the audience,” reflected Bandli. “This really stood out to me because I believe engaging with others is what public speaking is all about.”
Professor Schutta plans to make the Public Speaking Student Showcase a premier campus event. He wants to encourage more student participation and begin a larger marketing campaign.
“I want to start spreading the word around campus sooner and get the event noticed by the community,” Professor Schutta said. “I want to go BIG with this event! I want to continue to get big-name judges to participate. Having the Mayor is incredibly special.”
Future showcases may include a preliminary round of student speakers. Top-voted students would take part in the main event.