Cicero Speech Event
The Cicero Speech Event strives to promote a speaking culture at Barnard where speaking is an intellectual expression and powerful tool for advocacy; where speaking is valued, evaluated, and rewarded; where students use opportunities such as this event to voice issues which matter to them and affect real change; and where Barnard students hone and employ their voices for transformation. There are two categories you can participate in:
- Persuasive Advocacy Speech (5 minutes, prepared in advance, with a proposal and a call to action; all participants will have the opportunity to meet with a Speaking Fellow for a one-hour conference prior to the event.)
- Impromptu Speech (3 minutes, created on the spot, based on prompt given 30 min. before speech).
The event will take place on Thursday, October 17th at 6 PM in Sulzberger Parlor (Barnard Hall, 3rd floor)! To sign up to participate in the event follow this link. Winners will be awarded prizes worth $100 - $25!
There are two speech categories: Persuasive Advocacy (5 minutes) and Impromptu (3 minutes). Judging panels will comprise distinguished faculty, deans, and alumnae. There will be a small prize for each category.
A speech in this category aims to change an audience's action and behavior, or some policy that the audience can influence. It has a specific call to action and a specific plan for how to change the status quo (a clear claim with a desired outcome).
This category will be judged on the following criteria: who gives the most convincing reasoning for changing the status quo, offers the most cogent arguments, delivers a workable plan for action, and effectively relates the speech to the audience.
*All participants in this category will work with Speaking Fellows to hone their speech prior to the event.
Students will receive a prompt and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech. (One example of a previous year's prompt was a quote by Toni Morrison: "Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.")
This category will be judged on the following criteria: who approaches the topic in an innovative way and whether the speeches are evocative, persuasive, and/or surprising.
- We strongly suggest against reading verbatim, but encourage using an outline while presenting
- If participating in the persuasive category, you must meet with a Speaking Fellow about your speech before the competition.
- Language should be appropriate to the audience and respectful. Participants using offensive language will be immediately disqualified.
- Each category sign-up list operates on a first-come, first-served basis, but there is an unlimited waiting list. (Last year we had eight participants in the advocacy category and ten in the impromptu category with sizable wait lists.)