By Crystal Harrell
College of the Desert’s Speech Department and Communication Club will be presenting the Spring 2015 Speech Tournament on Friday, May 1, for any current students who wish to demonstrate their public speaking skills for a grand prize. The idea of hosting a speech tournament at COD was brought to life by Ron Newman, who is a speech professor and the faculty advisor of the Communication Club. Newman was the Tournament Director for an event at another college last semester, and when he was hired at COD, he proposed the idea and the current faculty was enthusiastic about it as well. “I am thrilled to bring the excitement and prestige of a speech tournament to the College of the Desert community, and look forward to the college hosting and expanding this event for many years to come,” stated Newman.
The Spring 2015 Speech Tournament will be held in Room 107 of the Communication Building at the Palm Desert campus, with contestant check-in at 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and the closing award ceremony at 2:30 p.m. The tournament will have winners in two categories of speeches: informative and persuasive. Students will deliver their speech to different judges during the first and second rounds of the competition, and the top scoring speakers will then deliver their speech again in the final round in front of a general audience and panel of judges.
According to Newman, the preliminary round judging will be done by COD faculty members who teach speech or English, while the final round will also consist of members of administration, and possibly a couple of textbook publisher representatives. All speeches delivered by the contestants must be between five to nine minutes in length, have at least four cited sources, and cannot have visual aids. All students who participate in the tournament will receive a certificate. Presently, the prizes confirmed for the two winners will be a trophy, a 50-dollar Visa gift card, and movie tickets. To register for the speech tournament, students can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants must register by April 29 for guaranteed entry.
To learn more about COD’s newly-formed Speech Communication Club, students can email Ron Newman at email@example.com. Those interested can find more information by clicking on “School of Communication and Humanities” under the “Academic Programs” link on the College of the Desert website. Club meetings are at 12:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month and at 6:45 p.m. on the third Thursday. Locations are to be determined by faculty advisors Ron Newman and Carl Christman.