David Jones Persuasive Speech Contest




David Jones Persuasive Speech Contest 50 to 500 dollar prizes

Awards Ceremony: Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 3 p.m.  

The contest theme is - "Speak for a Cause". Each contestant will choose a charitable organization to advocate for. A list of pre-approved charitable organizations can be found in the Contest Application Packet.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the finalists. 1st place $500.00, + $500.00 to winning charity, 2nd place $250.00, 3rd place $100.00 and $50.00 to each additional finalist.

  • Contest Application Packet - Application deadline Friday, April 21, 2023, by 5 p.m.
  • Participants must be current Parkland students who are enrolled in, or have completed, a Communication (COM) course offered at Parkland College.
  • Students prepare and present an original 5–8 minute persuasive speech advocating for a good cause - their chosen charitable organization.
  • Awards Ceremony: Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 3 p.m. 

Contact Jody Littleton for more information at jlittleton@parkland.edu or 217/351-2532


David Jones

Dr. David M. Jones

David Jones was the beloved chair of the Fine and Applied Arts department from 1988 until his death from cancer in 2002. He was a remarkable man who was a great friend, mentor, and colleague. This annual speech contest honors his memory and his spirit. He cared deeply about student success and that is why we honor David’s memory with a student speech contest.

If he were here today he would probably say to you, “you can do this—now get going.”



2022 Contest Winners




First Place ($500) Joel Langston

video iconLangston: Eastern IL Foodbank

"Participating in the David Jones Speech Contest allowed me the opportunity to support a cause I believe in, provided valuable experience and improved communication skills applicable in both my personal and professional endeavors, and helped bolster my confidence in public speaking settings. I am very grateful to have been able to take part!"



Second Place ( $250) Delma Cobb

video iconCobb: Equal Justice Initiative

"Participating was not a mistake, and I am glad I followed through with the presentation. I learned new techniques on how to deliver persuasive speeches. As well as promote my non-profit organization that is in need of support. I also gained more confidence in delivering speeches when under pressure. Overall, my key take away would be, you do not have to be the best you just have to be passionate." 


J.Van Anrooy 300x200

Third Place ($100) Jake Van Anrooy

video iconVan Anrooy: Jazz At Lincoln Center

“Being someone who has never done any kind of public speaking before outside of school and is also taking school completely online, I was quite anxious going into this contest. However, defeating my anxiety through COM 103 and with my instructor’s help made it possible for me to advocate for a great cause and participate in this
charitable contest. I think anyone who takes COM 103, online or in-person, should participate in this contest because, while being honored is great, speaking for a cause and taking the first steps to become an advocator in your community are even greater virtues that help make the world a better place.” 



Fourth Place ($50) Cavan Morber

video iconMorber: The Ocean Cleanup

"I was originally skeptical of signing up for this year's contest, as it appeared to just be more work for me to do. However, it was a very enriching experience and I honestly felt like I was making a difference! Fighting for your charity is not only the right thing to do, but the feeling is irreplaceable.It can be very nerve-wracking signing up for the speech contest, but it is well worth it if you believe in your charity."