David Jones Persuasive Speech Contest


Thursday, April 30, 2020

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 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.

  • 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.
  • Contest Application Packet - Submission deadline Friday, April 24, 2020

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.”




2019 David Jones Speech Contest Winners!




 First Place ($500) Michael Doehring 

video iconDoehring: Ronald McDonald House Speech

Second Place ( $250) Emily Eastin

video iconEastin: Crisis Nursery Speech

Third Place ($100) John Nichol

video iconNichol: Cunningham Children's Home

Fourth Place ($50) Malea Misenheimer

video iconMisenheimer: Concerns of Police Survivors Speech


Michael Doehring 2019 David Jones Speech Contest winner

Michael Doehring

I would say to anyone considering participating in the David Jones Speech Contest, go for it! You never know what might happen. If you’re passionate about your charity, and you can convey that through speech, you have no reason not to compete. It was an amazing experience with great people. Confidence in your speech, your charity, and yourself are all you need. If you can convince yourself that you have a speech worth listening to, your audience will think so too.









Emily Eastin David Jones Speech Contest

Emily Eastin

 I learned a lot from participating in this contest. It helped me so much with my public speaking skills. Not only did it help me structure and present my speech, but I also learned a lot about confidence and how to communicate with a more professional audience. I would definitely recommend that COM students to participate in this contest. It's for such a great cause and it really pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Public speaking is stressful, but the payoff is so worth it. For me, practicing was the key. It was a lot of looking at myself in the mirror, rephrasing things, revising the outline, timing mysekf, etc. I knew I would feel most confident if I went in feeling prepared, and it defintiely paid off. I also made sure that I spoke about an organization that I was passionate about. I think that my speech reflected the fact that I was genuine in how much I support The Crisis Nursery, and that struck a chord with the judges. I would also like to add that, even if you don't think public speaking is your strong suit, this competition offers so ,much more. It's a great resume builder, a great learning experience, and it's a great way to just try something different. At the very least, you would be bringing awareness to a charity that you support. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself. 😊




John Nichol David Jones Speech Contest

John Nichol

The benefits that you gain from participating in the David Jones Speech contest far outweigh whatever stage fright you might have. You get, 1, really helpful feedback on your speaking to help you speak in the future, 2, if you're a finalist, money, and money to support a worthy cause, and 3, extra credit that may just bump your grade up a letter, or give you peace of mind if you're teetering between grades. You've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain! Go for it! I think a key to my success was choosing a charity that I was passionate about. Passion in your speech will give you a lot of credibility and confidence, because OBVIOUSLY (your favorite charity) is the best charity of all time, and all you need to do is to show the judges that that's the case.