Belmont’s Communications Studies Department holds the COM 1100 speech competition every semester to honor students’ exceptional speaking. Each speech instructor chooses one participant from their class to participate and six are chosen to advance to the final round. On March 18, Allison Hardee, Julia Crone, Chase Wofford, Brandon Corsi, Rachel Holloway and Tucker Dowell competed in the contest.
This semester’s winner was Tucker Dowell who delivered his speech, “Tell Me How To Feel” about what poetry is, the way poetry makes people feel and how poetry can heighten one’s emotional intelligence.
“I learned that people respond to emotion. People respond to you being genuine. The poetry isn’t necessarily all that good. The speech wasn’t necessarily all that good. From a technical stand point, there are many flaws in both. I learned that people relate to emotion. By being vulnerable, you show the part of the audience members that the audience members themselves are scared to show others. You allow someone to feel themselves, to be themselves, when you take the burden off their shoulders. People like feeling themselves. People like being themselves,” said Dowell.
Dowell concluded his speech with a poem of his own saying,
Professor and Chair of the Communication Studies Department Dr. Mary Vaughn described the criteria judges look for to explain what set Dowell apart. “A speaker must have great delivery, quality research sources, effective oral citation of sources, clear and logical structure, compelling and engaging supporting material and effective opening and closing devices. Not an easy package,” Vaughn said.
The event is organized by Lambda Pi Eta, Belmont’s speech honor society and is judged by area alumni and Lambda Pi Eta students. Judges this year included Brianna Kirby, Cory Mabry, Julia Ragsdale and Jake Townsend.
To hear Dowell’s speech in full, click here.