Public speaking competition searches for TCU’s most eloquent student speaker

2013 Wisdom Award Winners (L-R): Michael Daniels (winner), Stephanie Milligan (2nd place), Stephen Lewis (donor), Kelsey Ritchie (3rd place)

2013 Wisdom Award Winners (L-R):
Michael Daniels (winner), Stephanie Milligan (2nd place), Stephen Lewis (donor), Kelsey Ritchie (3rd place)

TCU students have an opportunity to talk their way into a $1,000 scholarship.

The Wisdom Award Public Speaking Competition is set to begin its fourth year at TCU. Stephen Lewis, a TCU alumnus, started the competition in order to highlight the importance of public speaking to TCU students.

“I think it is something we always wanted to do, but having an alumnus who is very interested in it was very helpful,” said Dr. Paul King, chair for the Department of Communication Studies. “By providing the scholarship prize money for the first two or three years, he really helped get this started and off the ground.”

The competition is open to any TCU undergraduate student. Competitors must write and record a seven- to 10-minute persuasive speech. A panel of judges will then select the best speeches; these participants will move onto the final round where they will perform their speeches in front of an audience.

“We are looking for the most eloquent public speaker on campus,” said Carrie Moore, an instructor in the Department of Communication Studies.

Michael Daniels, a senior entrepreneurial management major, competed in the competition last year. Daniels took first place for his speech about the power of words. He hopes that more students will compete this year and speak about something they are passionate about.

“One piece of advice is to engage the audience and have fun,” said Daniels. “I treat public speaking as a big conversation.”

Competitors may choose from a variety of topics to speak on. The initial guidelines for the competition stated the speeches must be dinner-type speeches the rules changed to make the speeches be persuasive.

“I encourage students to choose something that you are either going to change hearts and minds or choose something to get us to do something,” said Moore.

Auditions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26 in Moudy South room 333. The final round of auditions will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center.

For more information about this event, email Carrie Moore at or apply online here.


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