Student Voices for Change - Public Speaking Showcase


KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 1, 2016) — The Public Speaking Showcase invited undergraduate students who have earned credit for the public speaking course or are currently taking public speaking to participate in a competition, which was in reality far more than just a speech competition. The Showcase is an opportunity for students to present subjects they are passionate about and to encourage the audience to join them in their passions. Every speech is a platform for action – where one small change can make a world of difference.

Twenty-two students competed in the semi-finals of the Showcase. All the speeches were persuasive and were require to be 8-10 minutes in length. The School of Communication and Media presents the showcase each year to highlight the important role communication plays in motivating others to take action, and Emily Holler, the coordinator for the Public Speaking courses at Kennesaw State University, organizes the Showcase details to make the event a success. The Showcase was sponsored by The Home Depot, who generously provided each of the finalists with a monetary prize, Bedford/St. Martin’s Publishing, who provided the judges’ dinner, and Hayden-McNeil/Macmillan Learning, who provided the beautiful glass trophies to the to three winners.

Madison Higbee, Chris Brock, Madison Dawkins, Kelsie Anderson, and Brittany Russell competed in the final round of the competition. Each of these students had a unique message and presentation style that captivated the audience, and in the end, Madison Dawkins, with her moving speech about organ donation, took first place.


1st Place – Madison Dawkins Become an Organ Donor

“You are six times more likely to need an organ than to be a donor.”

2nd Place – Madison Higbee Conversion Therapy: Therapy or Torture?

“Conversion therapy should be outlawed as an abuse of human rights.”

3rd Place – Brittany Russell Human Trafficking: 27 Million Slaves

“Human trafficking begins with a lie, and we have the power to end it.”

4th Place – Chris Brock Common Core: The Good, the Bad, the Misunderstood

“Common core is the most beneficial standard to enter the education system.”

5th Place – Kelsie Anderson Speak Up: Seek Counseling

“When you develop your support team, you can succeed!”