Students compete for scholarships and the coveted People’s Choice Award in the annual Hyde Park Forum.

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Communication Students Take to the Stage to Persuade Peers at Speech Competition

Scholarships Awarded to Top Three Speakers

Kent State University’s School of Communication Studies recently hosted its annual Hyde Park Forum, an event in which stand-out students enrolled in the Introduction to Human Communication course deliver persuasive speeches for a panel of judges.

Students compete for scholarships and the coveted People’s Choice Award.

Student Erin Davis argued why the Confederate Flag should not be displayed in places of public prominence in her speech titled “Dethrone the Confederate Flag.”

“I chose my topic because I believe the United States has been struggling with racial equality since its founding,” Davis said. “I think, if we consider our country "land of the free" and if we "hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal," then we must stand by those ideals and give freedom to all.”

Davis loves public speaking. She says that from Sunday Mass to school musicals, she has always enjoyed entertaining others.

Her advice to other public speakers? Don’t be scared. “Everyone in the room wants you to succeed,” Davis says. “Even those who are critiquing you are only doing it in order for you to better your skills. Just be confident and own the podium.”

Student Amanda Krakowski shared why she thinks multitasking is a “facade” in her speech “The Myth of Multitasking.” She chose her topic because it is something she has always struggled with as a student.

She said that researching the topic for the speech helped her realize that multitasking is not saving us time, but it is, in fact, helping us waste our time while giving us the impression that we are doing more than time can allow.

Krakowski wants to let other public speakers know that all they need to do is relax.

“Public speaking is a terrifying, exhilarating thing, and people may laugh when you tell them all they need to do is relax. I know I did,” she shared. “But it's true! Relaxing helps so much. It's easier to remember what needs to be said when you're relaxed, and that's more than half the battle.”

Other participating students this year included:
First place and People’s Choice Award winner Tamara Frazier with a speech titled “Growth Mindset;”
Second place honoree Emelia Sherin with a speech titled “Why We Should Lift the Tampon Tax;”
Third place honoree Michael Ronga with a speech titled “Letting Gay Blood Through;”
Megan Fullerton with a speech titled “Why You Should Learn a Second Language;”
Michael Ronga with a speech titled “Letting Gay Blood Through;” and
John Steele with a speech titled “Petrolatum.”

Check out photos from the event at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentcommstudies/albums/72157680199924872