The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

English department debuts Speech Showcase

Iowa+State+University+Speech+Communication+212+students+receive+awards+for+excellence+in+public+speaking+at+the+English+Department%E2%80%99s+first+Speech+Showcase+inside+the+Student+Innovation+Center+on+Dec.+6.+From+left+to+right%2C+Melanie+Keller%2C+Elizabeth+Severson%2C+Nicholas+Khrustinskiy%2C+Hailey+Meservey%2C+Shelann+Cofie%2C+Brian+Gillette+%28Speech+Instructor+%E2%80%93+English+Department%29%2C+Maggie+LaWare+%28Director+of+Speech+Communication+212+%E2%80%93+English+Department%29+%28Photo+courtesy+Jacob+Oliver%29
Iowa State University Speech Communication 212 students receive awards for excellence in public speaking at the English Department’s first Speech Showcase inside the Student Innovation Center on Dec. 6. From left to right, Melanie Keller, Elizabeth Severson, Nicholas Khrustinskiy, Hailey Meservey, Shelann Cofie, Brian Gillette (Speech Instructor – English Department), Maggie LaWare (Director of Speech Communication 212 – English Department) (Photo courtesy Jacob Oliver)

Six Iowa State Speech Communication 212 students delivered their speeches during the Iowa State English Department’s first-ever Speech Showcase Wednesday evening at the Student Innovation Center. The speakers who were selected to present were chosen out of over 700 of the best speeches during the fall semester by a panel of judges. 

“I’m just really excited to be a part of the event,” said Brian Gillette, a public speaking instructor in the Iowa State English department. “Public speaking skills are a key that can unlock your success, regardless of what your major is or what your professional aspirations are.”

Alongside Gillette, Speech Communication 212 director Maggie LaWare, organized the event. Both noted how it was important for the students and for encouraging public speaking excellence.

“I am excited for the students, and I am really glad this will become part of our mission at Iowa State,” Gillette said.

LaWare said the showcase is an opportunity for students to display their passions. 

“Every semester, we have approximately 800 students taking public speaking, a class required by many majors around campus,” LaWare said. “Public speaking is one class where students literally have a platform to share their knowledge and passions and learn to communicate them effectively to an audience. The showcase gives the students another opportunity to share their outstanding speeches.”

Since the class is required by many majors, the interests of the speakers and topics can vary widely. Mia Hiveley, a senior majoring in management information systems, used her speech to call attention to the trend of parents who publicize and exploit their children using the social media platform TikTok.

Shelann Cofie, a senior majoring in biology, gave her speech on how to confront racial bias in medicine. Nicholas Khrustinskiy, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, spoke to the audience about how perceptions towards therapy can be changed to improve overall mental health for Iowa State students.

“All the speeches delivered by the students were persuasive policy speeches,” LaWare said. “Which means they propose a solution to a problem and indicate who should act and implement the solution. The six speeches that were showcased reflect the interests and knowledge of students from around the university.”

Elizabeth Severson, Speech Communication 212 student and a senior in Agronomy, talks about avoiding drowning deaths in her speech titled “Preventing Child Drowning Deaths through CPR”, Dec. 6, 2023, at the Student Innovation Center. (Photo courtesy Jacob Oliver)

For example, Melanie Keller, a senior and animal ecology major, used her speech to argue that investing in acoustic traps can be a solution for dealing with the problem of Cane Toads, an invasive species.

Besides gaining the experience of speaking in front of a large audience, each speech received feedback from local business leader Chris Haviland, who serves as an Executive VP of Sales, Innovation and Business Development for Group Benefits, Ltd. 

“Creativity is key,” Haviland said. “Being able to speak in front of an audience, whether it be your peers, family members, or what have you, is a crucial skill set that is not always promoted in this day and age. We tend to hide behind our keyboards or hide behind our phones. To be able to impact an audience and interact with an audience face-to-face through your communication skills is a huge key to success with any endeavor.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
$2510
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Iowa State Daily. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, send our student journalists to conferences and off-set their cost of living so they can continue to do best-in-the-nation work at the Iowa State Daily.

More to Discover
Donate to Iowa State Daily
$2510
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *