2023 Speaking Competition: Power


Amherst College’s annual speaking competition was held on February 22, 2023. Student finalists (from all class years) wrote persuasive speeches based on this year’s theme, “POWER,” and spoke compellingly about what matters to them.

2023 Award Winners

  • Best Overall Persuasive Speech: Kateryna Havryshchuk
  • Best Performance of a Persuasive Speech: Kobe Thompson
  • Best Written Persuasive Speech: Lovemore Nyaume

This year's Best Overall Persuasive Speech was made by Kateryna Havryshchuk: "My Step Towards Peace."


Competitors are evaluated on the following components:

Content and Organization

  • Topic and specific focus were appropriate for the audience (Amherst community).
  • Clear organization was followed consistently throughout the speech.
  • Speech consistently used evidence that was appropriate for the topic (e.g., narrative, statistics) and was cited as appropriate.
  • Language use was appropriate (e.g., avoided jargon) and suited to the occasion.
  • Logical connections were clearly made between ideas within the speech.


  • Speaker’s use of vocal qualities (volume, pitch, emphasis) enhanced the presentation.
  • Nonverbal behaviors (gestures and eye contact) enhanced the presentation.
  • Speaker was fluent (e.g., avoided fillers such as “um”) and conversational.

Overall Impression

  • The speaker was engaging throughout the presentation.
  • The overall presentation was consistently persuasive.