Third Annual Elevator Speech Competition

The Third Annual Elevator Speech Competition was held on April 7, 2015. Twenty-three contestants participated, an increase from 17 last year. Contestants ranged from first-year students to seniors. There were four judges: Patrick Holland ’88 a member of the CHK Group of Wells Fargo Advisors; Patrick Mullane, Vice President & General Manager of Technetics, Inc., who has also served as an Air Force officer and managed an intelligence-gathering satellite constellation for the CIA; Mackenzie Walsh ’12, staffing manager at Robert Half for the OfficeTeam division; and President Engelkemeyer, the seventh and current president of Nichols College. Professor Luanne Westerling coordinated and supervised the event with the help of Senior Class President, Andrew Haas who served as the student moderator/emcee.

In this case, an elevator speech is a one-minute pitch about you and your best qualities and skills that set you apart from the crowd. The name originates from the concept that a speech should be delivered in the time it takes for an elevator ride, which is generally 30 seconds to a minute. Nichols Elevator Speech Competition consists of a panel of judges that comment and rate contestants’ performances after the speech is delivered.  Each contestant is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. Also, if one goes over the time limit of one minute, points are deducted, so contestants must practice!

This year all three winners were freshmen! It is so exciting to see the immense participation by the freshman class. Tori Wolter, the winner, gave a riveting speech about herself and her younger sister who has Bipolar Depression. Her speech was so inspiring that I actually cried after her speech; she really did a tremendous job capturing the audience’s attention. She ended her first ever Elevator Speech Competition with a perfect score of 40 and the grand prize of $300. Second place was Martin Fletcher with $200 and third place, Devyn Goncalves with $100. Both Martin and Devyn did an exceptional job. Congratulations to all three winners!

For my effective speaking class, I had to attend the event, listen, rate, and comment on each of the students’ speeches. All of the contestants had remarkable speeches, and everyone conducted themselves confidently on stage. I thought everyone who spoke did an outstanding job and simply the fact that they could stand up in front of a filled Daniels Auditorium really showcased their character. The turnout for the event was so great that I and many others had to sit on the floor. I think next year I will sign up and compete in the Fourth Annual Elevator Speech Competition! I thoroughly enjoyed this event!

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