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Well Said! Public Speaking Competition Winners


Five students were awarded prizes in three categories in the annual Public Speaking Competition that took place this year over Zoom. Presentations were either persuasive or informative in nature, and in one category, students addressed an assigned topic.

In the McKinney Prize competition, a prize is awarded to one student from each class for a 5 to 8-minute persuasive speech that is socially relevant and of interest to the extended Hamilton community. The 2021 McKinney Prize recipients and their topics are:

Class of 2021: Aurora Cai, “Do Not Let Your Uniqueness Mute You

Class of 2022: Abbie Wolff, “Mark Zuckerberg Wants You to Keep Scrolling: The Real Value of Your Screen Time

Class of 2023/2024: Eric Moss ’24 “The .1%

Find Your VOice

Developing the ability to communicate in a clear, organized and effective way is a central goal of a liberal arts education — and a prerequisite for a successful career. Hamilton is one of only three top liberal arts colleges with an independent Oral Communication Center.

written & oral communication

The Clark Prize competition is open to members of the senior class and calls for participants to address an assigned topic through both written and oral presentations. This year’s topic was “Is Social Media a Waste of Time?” The 2021 recipient is Lily Delle-Levine, whose winning presentation is titled “Time for Change: Social Media as Social Action.”

The Warren E. Wright Prize competition is open to full-time students who have taken the public speaking course Genres of Oral Communication. This competition requires an informative speech rather than a persuasive one. That is, the purpose of the speech should be to enlighten rather than to advocate. The 2021 Wright Prize recipient is Jay Menner ’21, who addressed the topic “Who Was Alexander Hamilton?”

Winners will be awarded more than $12,000 in prizes on Class & Charter Day. The Oral Communication Center organized the Public Speaking Competition.

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