Nikki Horn takes top speech prize

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Ankeny Campus student Nikki Horn of Winterset gives a speech on drowning at the annual informative speech contest held on the DMACC Ankeny Campus. Horn got first place at the contest and received a $100 gift certificate from the DMACC Foundation for use in the DMACC bookstore. Photo courtesy Dan Ivis.

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Ankeny Campus student Nikki Horn of Winterset gives a speech on drowning at the annual informative speech contest held on the DMACC Ankeny Campus. Horn got first place at the contest and received a $100 gift certificate from the DMACC Foundation for use in the DMACC bookstore. Photo courtesy Dan Ivis.

By Anna Duran.

The finalists in this year’s Informative Speech contest were decided Nov. 7.

Students presented their speeches on varying topics in two preliminary rounds leading to Thursday’s final competition.

The speeches were presented extemporaneously, or as conversationally informative. This style of delivery allows the presenters to build a rapport with the audience and respond to their feedback.

“This delivery style shows a command of the topic and the poise of the presenter. There’s also a certain amount of spontaneity and allows for more flexibility,” Judith Vogel said, a professor of speech and communication.

The preliminaries brought the field to six finalists, who were (in order of appearance) Nikki Horn, Kayla Meeker, Anthony O’Tool, Ben Albrecht, Mikayla McCaughey and Sydney Vestal.

During the final round, student finalists were judged on the topic, speech structure, and delivery. The judges were associate professor of History Joanne Dudgeon, and English professors Eden Pearson and Alan Hutchison.

All of the finalists were awarded gift cards in varying amounts and provided by the DMACC Foundation.

Nikki Horn took the top prize of $100 with her speech about water safety and awareness.

In second place was Ben Albrecht. His speech was about the movie Troll II and how awful it is, but its being awful is what makes it great.

“I participated in the competition for extra credit. I didn’t intend to get into the finals. I really like bad movies, and Troll II is one of the best bad movies,” Albrecht said.

Public speaking is the number one fear amongst adults in America, followed closely by death. Vogel says public speaking can help alleviate that fear.

“I encourage students to participate because it’s a good opportunity to learn to speak. It helps build their [students’] self-confidence and relieves speech anxiety,” Vogel said.

Sydney Vestal, who came in fourth with her speech about miniature pigs as pets, participated for this reason.

“I have really bad anxiety, so I wanted to do something that would help that. I did really well when I gave the speech in my class, so I thought I would do well again if I was doing this,” Vestal said. “It made me feel good that I actually did it.”

The competition is held every semester. Interested students can contact Judith Vogel or the DMACC Foundation in the spring.

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