1. Who can participate?
2. Can students who are not eligible under Federal regulations to receive financial aid enter the competition? Can they win the competition?
3. What are the prizes? When will they be awarded?
All students who participate will be honored at
the Speech Competition Awards Ceremony on April 23rd, 2015 and will
receive a certificate of recognition and a letter commending their
The Bergen Community College Foundation is
sponsoring a total of $3000 in awards. (The
list of awards is detailed in question # 10.)
Only U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents
with a permanent resident card (I-551 or I-551C) are eligible to receive Foundation
4. What if I’ve never taken a Speech Communication course?
a. You do not have to have taken COM 100 or COM 102 to participate. The competition is open to all Bergen students.
b. There is a textbook on reserve in the library that has information on how to prepare a speech: Essentials of Human Communication, 4th Custom Edition for Bergen Community College, by Joseph A. DeVito. Chapters 11, 12, 13 and 14 detail how to prepare a speech to inform and a speech to persuade.
c. There is material on the Speech Competition web site on how to prepare a speech, in the tab “Brief Overview of How to Prepare a Speech.” It has a summary of “Steps in Preparing a Speech” and a worksheet that you can use as you outline the main points of your speech.
5. What is the theme of the Speech Competition?
a. The theme is “Contemporary Issues.” You can speak about any topic of significance and relevance to the audience.
b. This semester there is an additional focus on the topics of peace, justice and reconciliation, in conjunction with other events and programs on campus sponsored by the Institute for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation.
c. Students in the Judith K. Winn School of Honors are encouraged to adapt an honors project and present it at the Competition.
d. There are many academic projects across many disciplines that would make a good speech, from art and biology to philosophy and political science. You may be working on an essay or a paper that you could modify into an informative or persuasive speech.
6. Is it required that I speak about the theme?
a. No. You may present a 5 to 6 minute informative or persuasive speech on a topic of your choice that you deem significant and worthy of the audience’s attention.
b. The theme is meant to guide you to think about topics of appropriate significance.
7. How do I sign up?
8. What’s involved in the competition?
9. The Final Round of the Competition: Thursday, April 23rd, 3:00 – 4:45 p.m., Main Building
a. The top 6 speakers from the first round will be the finalists in the awards round.
b. They will be invited to present their speeches at the Final Round of the Competition one week later, on Thursday, April 23rd from 3:00 to 4:45 p.m. in the Main Building (room to be announced). Speakers will be asked to sign in between 3:00 and 3:15 p.m.
c. There will be an audience at this round of competition. All students who participated in the first round of the competition are invited to attend. You are encouraged to invite your family, friends and fans. Faculty members and college administrators will also be present. We estimate that 75 -80 people will attend the awards round.
d. After the students have presented their speeches, there will be a reception while the judges confer to determine the winners.
10. The Awards Ceremony
a. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony, which will follow immediately after the student speeches at 4:45 p.m.
b. The Bergen Community College Foundation is sponsoring a total of $3000 in awards for the Best Speakers. The following is the breakdown of prizes.
The prizes for the 6 finalists (subject to change):
Best Speaker $1000
Best Speaker, Runner-Up 750
Best Speaker, Third Place 500
Best Speaker, Fourth Place 300
Best Speaker, Fifth Place 250
Best Speaker, Sixth Place 200
c. Five students will be presented with Honorable Mention and Special Merit
d. All students who participated in the speech competition will be presented with a certificate of recognition at the Awards Ceremony. All participants are encouraged to invite their family, friends and fans to the awards ceremony.
Good luck! I hope you find the experience of participating in the Speech Competition to be intellectually challenging and rewarding. You can email me if you have additional questions.
Jane Phelps, Director of the Competition
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ 07652