2014 Honors Speech Contest

Science 102 was full to capacity with students and faculty eager to hear the outstanding speaking abilities of Honors students on Dec. 2.

The four students who made it to the 2014 Honors Speech Contest finals were Connor Pilmore, Megan Balfour, Caitlyn Bailey, and Paige Kramer.

Photo courtesy of the Honors Program

From left to right: Paige, Caitlyn, Connor, and Megan. Photo courtesy of the Honors Program

Connor attempted to persuade his audience into utilizing the many benefits of running and challenged those in attendance to go for one run by the start of winter break.

“Running isn’t going to solve all your problems, but it’s a good place to start,” said Connor in his speech.

Megan Balfour also tried to persuade the audience, but her topic of interest was the Rubik’s Cube.

The Rubik’s Cube provides mental/health benefits, entertainment benefits, and personal benefits, explained Megan.

Megan finished off her speech with the powerful declaration of: “It’s a dying toy and you can help keep it alive. If I can do it, you can do it, too.”

The third speaker, Caitlyn Bailey, addressed an issue Honors students can relate to: perfectionism tendencies.

Caitlyn explained the correlation perfectionism has with suicide, the benefits of healthy perfectionism, and how to get help if perfectionism becomes dysfunctional and inhibits healthy living.

The last student to speak was Paige Kramer, who addressed the issue of climate change.

Paige told of the negative effects of climate change on Earth’s organisms and highlighted the benefits of green living.

“We will set a solid green foundation for further generations,” said Paige. “The only way climate change can be combatted is by changing our ways.”

The room was buzzing with anticipation while the judges deliberated who would be the 2014 Honors Speech Contest winner. Finally, after everyone quieted down, it was announced that Connor Pilmore would be taking home first place, and the other three speakers were all runners up.

Photo courtesy of the Honors Program

Photo courtesy of the Honors Program

I was able to catch up with Connor after the competition.

Connor, who is a freshman in Marketing, explained that he initially entered the contest to get extra credit in his COMH 121 class, but it soon became about more than a few extra points to boost his grade.

“As I was waiting in the hallway for the judges to show up and send us to our rooms, my professor, Paul Zube, walked by me and said, ‘Good luck.’ Now that’s pretty typical, but the tone and the way he said it baffled me,” said Connor. “It was quiet and in a low tone of voice. I thought to myself, ‘Does he think I can win? Does he want me to win?’ Either way, I went ahead and spoke just as I would have, and made it to the final round.”

Connor said that while on his way to the finals, fellow classmate and speaker Megan Balfour shared her encouragement and told him she was almost positive he would win.

“I’ve always been pretty confident, but it was still really nice to have a friend like Megan right there supporting me,” Connor said. “I wasn’t really nervous when I spoke; the audience was really great and actually laughed at my jokes, thankfully.”

Connor sharing his love of running. Photo courtesy of the Honors Program

Connor speaking on his love of running. Photo courtesy of the Honors Program

Running is a topic of expertise to Connor, who is on Ferris’ Cross Country team, so he knew he’d be comfortable talking about something he loved so much.

“Although I wasn’t nervous during the presentation, listening to the results was nerve-racking,” said Connor. “I was just thinking about all the things I forgot to say, and how all the other speakers gave a lot more facts than I did. I really thought I had a good chance to win, but the other speakers were fantastic and I thought any one of them could have won it. In the end, I’m glad I entered the contest, and that I got a chance to compete with the other outstanding speakers.”




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