The Salt Lake Community College Communication Department held its 14th semi-annual Student Speakers’ Showcase on Thursday at Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
Established in 2011, the showcase gives six students the opportunity to present a topic of their choice in front of a wider student audience. The six finalists emerge from a rigorous competition involving students from more than fifty sections of the public speaking course at SLCC.
Nick Burns, associate dean of the Division of Communication and Performing Arts, hosted the evening.
“Better communicators are needed because the world is a mess,” Burns said about the importance of the Student Speakers’ Showcase.
Burns also promoted the concept of improving public speaking skills to the wider SLCC student body, saying that “communication skills are needed in all jobs.”
However, there is a significant difference between communication skills and public speaking skills.
A number of studies show that approximately 75 percent of the world’s population has suffered from glossophobia, more commonly known as speech anxiety.
“Nerves were definitely present throughout the whole process, but I think that is par for the course for public speaking,” said Daniel Engel, one of the six student speakers.
The camaraderie between the six finalists was palpable as the night rolled on. As one finalist would finish their speech, audience members would witness high-fives, compliments, and proud looks being shared between students.
“We all met on Tuesday. We all basically just met, but it’s that experience of public speaking; we are all afraid and anxious about going up on stage. We became family,” said finalist Sarah Lawson.
All six finalists were awarded $100 for their accomplishments within the Student Speakers’ Showcase.