About Speaker’s Edge
The Speaker’s Edge Competition is unlike any other speech event in the country, challenging Ole Miss students to express ideas, knowledge, and understanding clearly and effectively. Started by Ole Miss alumni, the Speaker’s Edge Competition brings industry professionals. retirees, working alumni and students together, requiring students to adapt their messages to different audiences and different situations. Ole Miss students spend a week and a half working with world-class communication coaches, discovering the strengths and weaknesses of their own personal style. The program culminates in a two-day competition, where students present three different presentations for a series of judges. A Speaker’s Edge Champion is named for the student performing the best in all three events. The spoken word remains a critical skill in any industry. Speaker’s Edge has become a hallmark of the Ole Miss MBA Program here on campus and we are proud to be joined by students within the Accounting Graduate Program and roll out Speaker’s Edge for Undergraduate students.
The Marketplace Pitch (4-6 minutes): The Marketplace of ideas is alive and well at Ole Miss. Students present their best ideas for product/service development or a course of action. As rising professionals, students research, develop, and “pitch” their ideas to a real or hypothetical audience of their choice, exercising the centuries old art of persuasion.
Team Pitch (10-13 minutes w/ 2 minutes Q & A from the judges): We’ve all heard it – employers are looking for leaders, who can work in teams and problem solve. All while writing and speaking about it with skill. This event covers them all. Designed to challenge students to address a critical need within a company, recommend action, create a power point and a team presentation.
Ethical Dilemmas: Knowledge and expertise are only as good as how they are exercised in the world. Students receive a case citing a dilemma of ethics within a business setting. Students will have 30 minutes to prepare a 5-7 minute response addressing the ethical dilemma.
- To provide, first and foremost, an opportunity to nurture and grow a student body that understands the value of the spoken word. Students who have the confidence and experience to enter into the global conversation.
- To provide our graduates/alumni with yet another opportunity to return home and give back.
- To provide a competitive speech component woven into the fabric of this University that is intense, productive and well done. We do want to be the University where “everybody speaks.”
The Student Experience: Early preparation is offered in the fall semester and a point person is available to answer questions and guide the students through the process. While this is a competition, winning is not the final assessment of their growth and mastery of necessary presentation concepts. Their personal sense of accomplishment – the actual feedback from coaches, judges and peers – all factor into the assessment. Ultimately, win, lose, or draw, their experience overall is the value of this program.
The Alumni Experience: In 2017 over seventy four judges attended the two-day event. Typically, judges become invested in the students’ growth; and the event reception allows for a more informal, but far more impactful learning experience for judges and students alike. We have heavy personal involvement from many of these judges and alumni. They become invested in the students’ growth and the evening reception allows for a more informal but far more impactful learning experience for judges and students alike.