Speech Club expands semi-annual contest

By ROBSLEY AUGUSTE

Norwalk Community College’s Speech Club sponsored and organized two speech events to be held on Thursday, Dec. 3 in the PepsiCo Theater.

Public speaking professor and Speech Club advisor Susan Seidell said there has been seven speech contests since the speech club started four years ago.

“It’s like a speech day at NCC,” said Seidell, who referred to the Dec. 3 event as a “double header.”

Preceding the persuasive contest in Dec., there will be a new addition called, NCC Talks in which Kathy Roberts founder of Giant Steps, was invited to be the keynote speaker and share the story of how she founded a school for autistic children.

Her daughter is autistic and was made fun of throughout school which made it difficult to find a good learning environment for her.

The goal of NCC Talks is to have speakers with interesting testimonies, who took a stand for something they believed in, and were successful in doing so, come in and speak with students.

“She is a wonderful example of doing something,” said Seidell.

The humanities department is  also sponsoring it, according to Seidell.

In fact, NCC Talks wouldn’t start this year, if it weren’t pushed.

“We were encouraged by Dean [of Academic Affairs] Pamela Edington to start [NCC Talks] this year,” she said.

Although Dean Edington approved it, it was Seidell’s idea.

“It’s all Susan [Seidell]’s idea,” said Dean Edington. It was proposed about a month ago along with Humanities Department Chair, Lori Soderlind.

Seidell went to the dean of academic affairs for financial support. Dean Edington oversees the Innovation Excellence Fund (IEF), which is money that comes from the NCC Foundation.

“It was very easy for me to say, yes, because of her track record,” said Dean Edington in regards to Seidell’s success instarting and running the Speech Club and their contests about four years ago.

At the end of Roberts’ lecture, there will be segment of questions and answers, which should last about ten minutes.

Following Roberts’ speech will also be the persuasive speech contest. It consists of five finalists competing for a prize.

Members of the Speech Club held fund raisers in order to purchase prizes and organize the events.

The president of the Speech Club, Edgar Gonzales, was a winner of last year’s persuasive contest and became the president of the club this semester.

“The Speech Club sponsors many events; the speech contest has been a tradition for every semester. We also have bake sales multiple times a year, we do speech tutoring for all NCC students who need help in public speaking, we participate in debates and this semester we are introducing a new event; NCC Talks,” Gonzales said.

Seidell thinks highly of the club members this semester.

“They are extremely active students,” said Seidell. There are “between 8-12 students who are active members.”

The impromptu speech contest held a few semesters ago consisted of finalists randomly picking a topic then speaking about it within two to three minutes.

“It was fun,” said Seidell.

Seidell is optimistic about this semester’s NCC Talks turn out.

“The more the better…We are not trying to be exclusive here,” she said.

The event is now going to be held annually–starting with its inauguration on Dec. 3.

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