GMercyU Holds Best Persuasive Speech Competition

December 16, 2021
GMercyU Holds Best Persuasive Speech Competition

Thirty-nine students in three sections of ENG200 Public Speaking were challenged with performing scholarly research and developing and delivering an effective problem-solution persuasive speech. Students had the opportunity to choose their speech topics.

“Allowing students to select topics they are passionate about inspires learning.” said Dr. Laura Dowling.

Once topics were approved against assignment criteria, students were required to perform scholarly research on the topic, write a manuscript outline, and present the problem and solution to the student audience. 

Topics included capital punishment, robots in the workplace, teaching mental health in K-12 schools, suicide awareness in colleges, assisted death for the terminally ill, legalization of marijuana for the terminally ill, harm reduction services on college campuses, periodic retest for driver’s license, controlling the whitetail population, and support for dementia patients their families.

"The research was solid”, continued Dr. Dowling, “The competition was tough as there were very many excellent deliveries. Because this is a required course at Gwynedd Mercy University, we teach students from all disciplines and all four years in public speaking. Our students are bright, compassionate, creative, concerned about the future, and well-prepared to participate in creating it.” 

The students completed a speaker evaluation form for each presenter who received the feedback. The following winners were selected by a majority vote:

William Gardiner 

William, a student from Roman Catholic High School and one of  is GMercyU’s Diocesan Scholars, took the Best Persuasive Speech Fall 2021 in Section DA with a speech entitled The Problems With The Electoral College, effectively presenting a case  that the electoral college is harmful to the election process of the US and does not properly reflect the views of its citizens.   

Crystal Paco

Crystal Paco, a sophomore in GMercyU's Occupational Science program, took the Best Persuasive Speech Award for Fall 2021 in section DC presenting a solid case arguing that assisted death for the terminally should be legal.  

Kiersten Hickey

Keirsten Hickey, a sophomore in GMercyU’s Occupational Science program, took the Best Persuasive Speech Award Fall 2021 in section DC. Keirsten presented a solid case about the harmful effects of capitalistic society’s 40-hour workweek on individual’s health and well-being.