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Annual Public Speaking Contest Will Focus on Importance of National Language in U.S.

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College students will have a chance to demonstrate their oratory skills this spring, when the college holds its annual public speaking contest May 1.

Sponsored by the PCC Student Government Association and McGraw-Hill Higher Education, the competition will begin at 2 p.m. in the Craig F. Goess Student Center multipurpose room.

The first 12 full-time PCC students to register for the event before April 21 (outside of Whitley 209) will be entered into the contest, which was first held in 1994.

In four-to-five-minute speeches, participants must share their thoughts on whether or not the United States should have a federally-recognized national language and, if so, what it should be. They have been asked to consider the importance of an official language, whether or not it would be unifying, and if having a national language would clash with the perception of America as a ‘cultural melting pot.’

Speakers will be awarded points for introductions, speech content, diction, gestures, eye contact and overall impression. Points will be deducted for speeches shorter than four minutes and longer than five.

In addition to a $150-cash prize, the winner of next month’s competition will have his or her name placed on a plaque displaying the names of previous public speaking champions. Paralegal student Leah Baez has won the previous two competitions.

A total of $400 will be awarded to the top five speakers in this year’s contest.