Nall Speak Off

Washburn University's Communication Studies Department hosts the semi-annual Nall Speak Off Competition. Each semester some of the top students in CN 150, Washburn's public speaking class, are nominated to showcase their talents at this celebration of informative speaking. The culminating round of this event is open to the public.

Speak Off Finalist Expectations

We expect the following criteria as a basis:

  1. An organized, eloquent and fluent delivery of the speech.
  2. Someone who shows a great deal of poise and confidence in a public speaking situation.
  3. A timely or relevant topic that is applicable to the audience as a whole.
  4. A minimum of 3 sources CITED verbally during the speech (these sources are assumed to be from legitimate, reliable sources).
  5. A speech that is between 4-6 minutes.
  6. Visual aids, if they are used, are professional and neat and used in an efficient and effective manner.
  7. A formal style of dialogue that sounds conversational.
  8. A speaker who adapts to her/his audience when necessary, and who offends no one (as much as possible).
  9. A speaker who speaks from brief notes, not from a manuscript or from memory (as this extemporaneous style allows for the most audience adaptation).
  10. A speaker who cares enough about the importance of the event to dress nicely (a.k.a. appropriately) for the occasion.
  11. A speech with a clear introduction, body and conclusion.

 What we shouldn’t see from a Speak Off finalist:

  1. A speaker who gives little or no eye contact.
  2. A speaker who is memorized or speaks from a manuscript (as this is counterintuitive to the goals for CN 150).
  3. A speaker who presents a non-informative speech (i.e. one that is persuasive or entertaining in nature).
  4. A speaker who disrespects a specific group or who employs generalizations or stereotypes in a non-constructive manner.
  5. A speaker who presents a topic that lacks applicability to the audience.
  6. A speaker who is incapable of adding sufficient nonverbal communication behaviors to accentuate the importance of particular aspects of the speech.
  7. A speaker who employs very few sources (i.e. not enough to justify assertions or fully support main points).

 REMEMBER: This is a basis, not the be-all, end-all list or criteria.

GET IN TOUCH WITH Department of Communication Studies

Communication Studies Department
Morgan Hall, Room 206
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785-670-2230

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