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Blinn students put their public speaking skills to the test

Public invited to judge contestants via text message voting

November 14, 2013

Blinn students put their public speaking skills to the testBlinn College students will put their skills of persuasion to the test Wednesday, Nov. 20, when they showcase their talents in the “Speak Up, Speak Out!” public speaking contest in the Bryan campus Student Center (map).

The 6 p.m. event, hosted by the College’s Communication Studies Program, is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring their cell phones so they can vote for the best speech via text message.

“We want to showcase what our students are doing in their speech classes and provide a public forum for their talents,” said Fine Arts Instructor Rachel Jumper. “This is a great opportunity to come and see what public speaking in the Communications Studies Department is all about.”

Judges will listen for credible research, a convincing point of view and an appealing delivery. Each student participating was selected to represent their class and has already advanced past the preliminary rounds of the competition. Between eight and 10 students will compete, each giving a 5-7 minute speech.

While the topics will vary, each speech will seek to sway the public’s opinion or spur listeners to action.

“An excellent public speaker is polished, has good verbal and nonverbal delivery, has a meaningful and non-manipulative message, is passionate about their topic and relates to the audience,” Jumper said.

Blinn speech classes are hosted by the College’s Fine Arts Division. Through their studies, students learn organization, research and verbal and nonverbal delivery skills. The course teaches students to give informational, persuasive and ceremonial speeches such as toasts, eulogies and acceptance speeches.

“We’re encouraging people to not only support our students as they seek to improve their presentation skills, but to see that there are real-world implications to this course,” Jumper said.

“These are skills these students will use for the rest of their lives.”

Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its workforce education, technical training and vocational education programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: