Democracy! Amherst College’s 2024 Speaking Competition

The Time is Now. Listen in. Speak out.

Date & Time: Thursday, February 22nd, 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Location: Johnson Chapel

More Information

Don’t miss Amherst College’s annual Speaking Competition on Thursday, February 22nd! 8 student finalists (from all class years) have written persuasive speeches based on this year’s theme, “Democracy,” and will speak compellingly about what matters to them. Speaking prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event. Join us in Johnson Chapel to cheer on these powerful speakers!


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.