Applications are now available

By Susan Baran

It’s that time of year again!  Bryant’s annual Public Speaking Colloquium is scheduled for Monday evening, March 27th at 7:00PM, with the preliminary competition planned throughout the day on Friday, March 24th.  The PSC is sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group along with the Department of Communication and the College of Arts and Sciences, and it is organized, in part, by The Podium, Bryant’s premier public speaking club.  The 2017 program will mark the 8th year for this highly successful event which has attracted everyone from potential employers to alumni and local celebrities.  The PSC has been featured on Channel 12’s Rhode Show and in Providence Business News numerous times, and has been applauded by the academic community throughout the region.      

Each year, over 50 students compete to become Bryant’s best speaker.  Approximately $3,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top six competitors on the evening of the event, with the largest cash prizes awarded to our top 3 winners – $1500 (first prize), $500 (second prize), and $250 (third prize).  APPLICATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED with limited slots available so do not delay!  All undergraduates are welcome to compete.

The top criteria in determining job attainment and success are communication skills – writing, critical thinking, and SPEAKING.  Students who have participated in past years have found this to be a remarkable way to jumpstart their careers.  Some have been hired by major companies, thanks in part to their PSC participation; others have found that during job interviews, prospective employers are particularly interested in their involvement in the Colloquium.  Because many employers struggle to find qualified graduates with outstanding interpersonal skills, this is your chance to stand out among the many applicants who apply for the same jobs.   Additionally, students have found the competition to be an influential factor on their graduate school applications as they attempt to “stand out” from other applicants.

The PSC has been called the “American Idol of public speaking.”  Students who attend are stunned by the talents of their peers and also benefit from seeing exactly what it takes to be an excellent presenter.  Attendees and audience members also have a chance to win GREAT prizes in the program’s raffle.  Audience winners have walked away with brand new gift cards, iPads, and gift baskets filled with wonderful prizes!   

You don’t need to be a polished public speaker to compete – you just need to have an interest in becoming a better presenter and in reaping the rewards of participation.  The process is simple.  Once you fill out and submit your application, you will instantly receive a packet of information detailing the process.  You will first prepare a short 3-minute speech for the preliminary round to be held on Friday, March 24th in the TV studio.  The speech will be on an approved topic of your choosing.  Should you make the top six and advance to the main event on Monday, March 27th you will spend the weekend in between (3/24 and 3/27) writing a 5-6 minute speech for the final program – again, on a topic you choose. It’s that easy!  Participants will be notified of scheduling in advance and be given a time slot for the preliminaries.  Even if you have class on Friday, you can still compete because you would only be required to show up for YOUR assigned (10-minute) time slot.  The judging process is very unintimidating; and whether students advance to the finals or not, each student walks away with a productive critique of their speech skills which will prove to be quite beneficial for class presentations, job interviews, and business speeches.  The top six will be informed by email on the evening of the preliminaries.

Take advantage of this amazing opportunity!!!  You could win $1500 if chosen as Bryant’s BEST public speaker or other significant cash prizes for being in the top six. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 1st, unless all 50 slots fill up before that date.     

More information about the PSC can be obtained by contacting Communication professor Susan Baran at   For your convenience, the application process can be completed entirely through email.  APPLY NOW!