David Jones Persuasive Speech Contest (Virtual)



Virtual Awards Ceremony: Thursday, May 13 at 4 p.m. 
Join event here. 


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 23, 2021
  • 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.
  • Students schedule and record presentations in PCTV: April 26 - 29 (Email Chris Foster to schedule a time to record your presentation.)
  • Virtual Awards Ceremony: Thursday, May 13 at 4 p.m. Join event here. 

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.”



2021 Contest Winners

 First Place ($500) Nathaniel Carsten

video iconCarsten: Catsnap

Second Place ( $250) Joseph Simmons

video iconSimmons: St. Jude's Children's Hospital

Third Place ($100) Anneliese McDaniel

video iconMcDaniel: Stephen's Family YMCA

Fourth Place ($50) Snehal Saini

video iconSaini: CivicaRX


2021Nathaniel Carsten1x300

Nathaniel Carsten

Anyone who is taking COM 103 should take the time to trust themselves and enter this wonderful, charitable contest. Entering will send a flux of confidence that will permeate through to your coursework, and on chance that you place, you'll have earned something worth winning, evidence that you are as good as you always thought. Not placing, does not mean, not winning. You won over the fear of not entering at all, and that's a tough battle either way. So, if you ask me what you should do: Study, practice, watch plenty of movies, talk to yourself, and enter. 






2021Joseph Simmons1x300

Joseph Simmons

I’d tell future students the contest is definitely worth your time. It always helps to put yourself in some competitive situations where you’re trying to perform at your best, and the David Jones speech contest is a perfect way to put yourself out there! I definitely enjoyed the whole process. 

I feel like I learned more about myself and how I deal with any type of pressure situation. I personally gained the confidence to deliver speeches with higher stakes, and I left the presentation room knowing I’d given the best I had through the preparation I’d put in, which is a great feeling.