UBC Sauder Public Speaking Competition

Each year, UBC Sauder's best undergraduate orators compete for $2,500 in scholarships and the title of Public Speaking Champion.

The UBC Sauder Public Speaking Competition is an annual invitational event for which COMM 395 Business Communications instructors nominate their most capable students from the past 12 months. Selected participants compete in a preliminary knockout round by recording and submitting speeches for the judging committee. Short-listed finalists are then invited to compete in front of an audience, delivering both prepared and impromptu presentations.

The 2023 competition

In the 2023 competition, each finalist was asked to prepare a six minute presentation on the one of two topics, 'Is it wrong to tell students to pursue academic disciplines that they enjoy instead of those that have more promising career options?' or 'What is the best time period and genre of music?' They were then tasked with giving a two to three minute impromptu address in response to the question, 'My favourite clothes: what are they and why have I chosen them?' The 2023 finalists included BComs Matthew Valinho, Jasleen Mehat, Makayla Zuberbier, Oceanna Nguyen, and Keisha Rutega.

Prepared Speeches

Matthew Valinho

Is it wrong to tell students to pursue academic disciplines that they enjoy instead of those that have more promising career options?

Oceanna Nguyen

Is it wrong to tell students to pursue academic disciplines that they enjoy instead of those that have more promising career options?

Jasleen Mehat

Is it wrong to tell students to pursue academic disciplines that they enjoy instead of those that have more promising career options?

Keisha Rutega

What is the best time period and genre of music?

Makayla Zuberbier

What is the best time period and genre of music?

Impromptu Speeches

Matthew Valinho

My favourite clothes: what are they and why have I chosen them?'

Oceanna Nguyen

My favourite clothes: what are they and why have I chosen them?'

Jasleen Mehat

My favourite clothes: what are they and why have I chosen them?'

Keisha Rutega

My favourite clothes: what are they and why have I chosen them?'

Makayla Zuberbier

My favourite clothes: what are they and why have I chosen them?'

Previous competitions

2019W

Watch our 2019 competitors deliver talks on what the most sensible thing they've heard someone say and who or what they love and what they do about it.

Watch now

2018W

Watch our 2018 competitors deliver talks on what university has and hasn't taught them and which foods remind them of home and which they could do without.

Watch now

2017W

Watch our 2017 competitors deliver talks on whether smartphones are making us stupid, narcissistic, and destroying our sense of empathy and the most amazing place they've ever visited.

Watch now

And the 2023 Public Speaking Champion...

Makayla Zuberbier took top honours and a $2,500 scholarship, followed by runner-up Keisha Rutega who was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. Think you have what it takes to be the next Public Speaking Champion? Ask your COMM 395 instructor about the next competition!


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