COM major wins speaking competition


KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 22, 2011) — A communication major took top honors in the Communication Department’s 5th Annual Public Speaking Showcase, a public speaking competition in which students vie for $1,500 in prize money.

Morgan Williams, a junior who aspires to a career in sports broadcasting, was one of 16 student speakers who competed for the top prize of $600 on Nov. 11. Williams’ winning speech, "Each One, Reach One," reminded the audience of how easy and important it is to be kind and helpful to one another.

"Everybody gets so busy, that we just simply don’t think to be kind,” Williams said. “I wanted to raise awareness and get people thinking about what they can do for others because I feel like it’s more important now than it’s ever been."

A speech about nutrition by Farah Tabet, a senior Communication major, won second place and $400. Perla De Santiago, also a senior Communication major, claimed third prize and $300 with a speech about volunteering. The three top winners also received trophies. Other finalists were Colin Carr and Jasmine Wright.

The Public Speaking Showcase is the brainchild of Emily Holler, senior lecturer and coordinator of the Public Speaking course in the Department of Communication. Speakers are divided into five rooms for a semi-final round, where they present an 8-10 minute persuasive speech. The best speaker from each room is awarded $100 and the opportunity to compete in the final round. CNN sponsors the event, which is open to any student who has earned credit for the Public Speaking course.

"I hope to see the event grow each year," Holler said. "It’s a great opportunity for students to gain valuable experience speaking in front of an audience and also to win some nice cash prizes."

This year’s semi-final judges included KSU professors and members of the department’s National Advisory Board. Judges for the final competition were Dr. Stephen Braden of the Department for First-Year Programs, Judy Craven of KSU’s Center for Student Leadership and John Millsaps of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

"I would encourage other students to participate in the competition by telling them that they have potential," said second-place winner Farah Tabet. "But they will never know how much potential until they get outside of their comfort zones and reach for the goal."