Speech tournament showcases talent

By Jessica Suico, Advocate Staff

Wednesday is the last day to sign up for the Intramural Speech Tournament that Contra Costa College is hosting May 2.

The tournament begins with student check in, registration and judge orientation at 3 p.m.

Round one runs from 3:30-4:20 p.m. and round two is from 4:30-5:20 p.m., which will be followed by an awards ceremony.

Check-ins will be outside the General Education Building.

Competitors will receive a confirmation email with student entries by Friday.

Students should turn in entries as soon as possible, so faculty and tournament hosts can fill spots and even reach out for extra judges if needed.

Speech professor Joseph Carver said, “The students benefit from a little taste of speech and debate, and public speaking, (so) they recognize that public speaking isn’t all that scary.”

Carver said it gives students confidence in their speaking and it is practice for them.

Students will be competing in one event of their choice.

Students will not be able to change their mind after they turn in their sign-up sheet to their instructor or to Carver’s office in AA-113.

Students will be committed to compete in both rounds on tournament day. Students are required to stay for performances from their peers, even after they present.

The judge will cut the student off if they go too far over their time limit.

Students should try to maintain focus, energy and active listening while in the round. Electronic devices are not permitted during competition.

If a student distracts one of their competitors, the student will be immediately disqualified from the tournament.

The student’s instructor will be notified and disqualification could possibly impact any points being earned in that class.

Speech department Chairperson Sherry Diestler said, “This year there are three types of speeches that are going to be presented: informative, persuasive and oral interpretation of literature.”

One of the highlights of the event is that it is free and there will be snacks for the competitors, Diestler said.

“Sometimes, we have had over 100 students participate, but this year we are aiming for 75 so we can have enough judges,” Diestler said.

The judges are speech professors, faculty or tutors. Students give the same speech in each round, but to different judges, Diestler said.

Carver said what he observes from students after a tournament is that they have smiles on their faces.

“Students have told me that it is a fun thing to be a part of. They get relief when they are done because they realize, once you start giving the speech it’s not as scary as before,” Carver said.

Marine Corps veteran Leon Watkins said, “I definitely like that there is a speech tournament held on campus, because after taking Diestler’s class, I’ve learned communication is key in life.”

Watkins participated in the Intramural Speech Tournament last year and is participating again this year.

Watkins said one thing he likes about the speech department is how diverse it is and said speech is the most important thing in the world.

“Being able to interact with other speech students who enjoy speech like you do is what I benefit (most from by) participating in the tournament,” Watkins said.

Watkins said he would recommend this tournament to students on campus.

The classrooms that students will speak in will be posted on the walls outside of GE-225.

The room postings will not be placed until after registration is complete.

Students will find their name on the list and then proceed to the room they’re assigned.

After the first round, students will have about 10 minutes before the next round starts.

During that time students will go back to GE Building and check the new list of classrooms of where to perform their speech for the second round.

After finding the room for round two, it will be the same process as round one.