Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So you think you can speak eh?

Today will go down in History... at least my personal history.

Public Speaking has been the jewel of my classes thus far as I love the professor and I love the art itself. In that class, not to long ago, great things were set in motion and now they are near fruition.

First I was nominated by my peers to participate in the Department of Communication's Annual Speaking Competition. I was thankful for this opportunity but fairly surprised by the nomination. Regardless, of 500 some students that took the class, a mere 23 were nominated. I felt pretty good.

Then came the competition itself. It was today starting at 4:00. There was to be a preliminary round, a semi-final round, and a final round. The preliminaries would be split into 6 groups of 4 (even though we had a mere 23) and the winner from each group would move on.

I listened to two great speeches in my section, I thought for sure that I wouldn't be moving forward, especially because I had COMPLETELY left out one of my Main points. That point was fairly crucial to my argument. So after our group had gone we went back to a common room where the names were read aloud.

I had been last to go in my section, and my section was the last of the sections, so of course the anticipation built. However, seeing as I had misstepped so badly in my speech, I figured that I for sure wouldn't be moving on therefore I wasn't too worried about it!

Then Professor Matt McGarrity read my name.

I was stunned. But only momentarily. I can only surmise that my presentation had pulled me through. Regardless, congratulations were said and everyone but the judges and semi-finalists were left in the room.

One by one we gave our speeches. I saw some really great speeches and again thought, I wont be moving on. I, of course, was last again. Finally my time came and I gave my speech. I have to say it was the best delivery of my speech to date. I was happy with it, but not at all expectant of anything.

We shuffled out of the room and then back in 10 minutes later. There, on the whiteboard, were the names of 3 finalists. The last name on the list read "Zach Simonson-Bond" and again I was shocked.

I made it to the finals! Not only was this a great experience, not only can I put this on my resume, but I can now say that I was a finalist in the Annual Department of Communication's Speaking Competition. And what's more, the top three speakers win prizes, 3rd being 200, 2nd being 300, and 1st being 400 dollars! I'm so grateful for this opportunity and it's been a blast. No matter the result from here on, I'm so happy just to have been apart of it! I hope I can continue my public speaking skills in the future!


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