Friday, April 23, 2010

How to Win $50 in 6 minutes

Earlier this week, the Kelley Toastmasters Club organized a Speech Competition. The mission of the Kelley Toastmasters Club is to provide a supportive environment for Kelley MBA students to improve our public speaking skills. Roger Munson (President and MBA Finance Major) and Evan Markley (VP and MBA Consumer Marketing) challenged us to participate in a public speaking contest. The top prize was $100. The second prize was $50.

The rules were simple. “Part 1: A 4-5 Minute Prepared Speech. This can be on any topic you like. No PowerPoint! No notes! A panel of judges will be on hand to determine who advances to Round 2. Part 2: Impromptu Speech: You will be given a speech topic, then have 1 minute to prepare a 1-2 minute speech. Judges will once again decide the outcome.”

The judges were Prof. Matt Semadeni (our Strategy Professor from the Core), Bob Cummins (Director of HR – Bosch) and Tye Brown (a second-year MBA student). I was one of the nine contestants. We couldn’t hear the rest of the speakers since we were put in a separate “sound-proof” room. John Pawlowski, a first-year MBA student and a Dale Carnegie instructor started us off with an inspirational speech.

For the first round, my topic was “Shine Pulikathara’s An Unfortunate Series of Events” A.K.A “The Adverse Effects of Case Competition on the Human Brain”. It was a story about one of the craziest hours of my life tackling a problem where I locked the car keys inside my car during case competition week last fall. The moral of the story was that even the most unfortunate series of events can someday give you a shot at winning $100 in prize money, or perhaps make a good story to share on an MBA Program blog!

The second topic was about a new course that I would want to introduce in the Core – I went with Information Systems Management. Jonathan Kruesi (MBA Consumer Marketing) won the top prize and I came in second. Avjit Dugal was a close third. So what was common among the three who made it to the final round? They were the three who had taken the Effective Communication class earlier this year with Prof. Sue Vargo!

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