Aspen Rotary Club seeking students for speech contest |

Aspen Rotary Club seeking students for speech contest

The Rotary Club of Aspen is looking for high school students from Aspen to Rifle to enter its annual Extemporaneous Speech Contest, with a chance to win a $1,000 top prize.

The contest will take place at 3 p.m. April 18 at Mountain Chalet in Aspen. Students coming from downvalley schools can have an adjusted start time to fit individual schedules, according to a news release from Aspen Rotary.

The first place prize is $1,000, second is $500, and third is $250. There will also be random drawings for prizes and gift cards. The deadline to sign up for the contest is Wednesday, April 11.

Students do not need to prepare anything ahead of time. Each participant will be able to choose a topic from among several options. The questions may include topics ranging from political to environmental, and encompass legal to ethical issues.

After each student picks a topic, he or she will have 30 minutes to prepare a 2.5- to 5-minute persuasive speech and deliver it to a “panel of warm, non-threatening, enthusiastic, and impartial judges,” says contest chair and Rotary Club member Robin Smith.

Computers, phones and tablets may be used for the preparation and information gathering period. Students do not need to be involved in speech and drama, debate or any other classes/clubs that utilize public speaking, she said.

“The competition is a great way for young adults to start honing their public speaking and critical thinking skills, and the process of thinking and speaking on their feet,” Smith said. “Any kid who has ever argued and gotten his or her way with their parents is prime to win this awesome competition.”

Extemporaneous speaking is a limited-preparation, competition speech event in high schools and colleges and is based on research and original analysis. To sign up, send name, school and age to Robin Smith or call her at 970-379-8340.

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