Students in the Public Speaking class at North Platte Community College had the opportunity discover the power of words as they participated in the “Word Speeches” competition this semester. Pictured from left to right are NPCC Speech/Human Relations Instructor Nadyne Crumly, first place winner Brittney Christophersen, second place winner Ethan Montalvo, third place winner Ashia Lum and fourth place winner Jordan Blomstedt.
Although most of us hear and speak thousands of words each day, we rarely take the time to investigate their origins and ponder their meanings. Students in Nadyne Crumly’s Public Speaking class at North Platte Community College had the opportunity to do just that as they participated in the “Word Speeches” competition this semester.
“The emphasis in the class is not only on improved public speaking, but on vocabulary building,” said Crumly. “Powerful public speakers with extensive vocabularies are often more successful in speaking to make a difference. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X are considered fine examples.”
For the contest, the students were challenged to select any word they liked, research it, and present a speech about the word to the class. This provided the opportunity for the students to learn about the power of words, both in writing and in speaking. Effective storytelling about the meaning of the words was continued from an earlier assignment.
The students were judged on their presentations in areas such as giving a good definition of their word, using it in a way that it isn’t typically used or associated with, their research on the origin and history of the word, speaking extemporaneously and having good eye contact.
Brittney Christophersen of Brady earned First Place with the word “Misoneism,” which is a hatred, fear or intolerance of innovation or change. Ethan Montalvo of Omaha claimed Second Place with the word “Snollygoster,” a clever, unscrupulous person; a dragon-like beast said to inhabit the Blue Ridge Mountains. Third Place went to Ashia Lum of North Platte for the word “Dendrofilous,” meaning having an extreme love of trees. Jordan Blomstedt of Hershey earned Fourth Place with the word “Evangelium,” which means the gospel or good news.
Students who earned Honorable Mention include Isabella Berg, Kimberly Carter, Bethany Chamberlin, Dylan Johnson, Megan Polt and Martina Widener. Words used by the students included: august, poor, ugly, acedia, hypochondria and intelligent. Linda Deeds, Student Success Center Assistant, served as judge for the contest which took two class periods to complete.