I’m not a professional speaker …

- If that is how you start off the family gathering, then you may learn something this Thursday at the 2009 speech contest


Confidence, charm – and rhetorical skills to die for

The room is packed, the spotlight is blinding you, and you are fumbling with your notes. Everybody is looking at you, and the first word of your carefully prepared speech just will not come out. You have exactly 5 minutes to convince the judges that your speech is superior to the rest. Then the microphone is disconnected, and your time in the spotlight is over.

For the past six years in a row, CBS is holding a speech contest for the first-year students at BA in International Business Communication. Each class has chosen a student, who will take the stage with his answer to the question: should future students have their own private sponsor?

Arguments to be used with refinement and humour

Three of the speakers are to make arguments in favour of having a sponsor; three are going to make arguments against. Arguments, refinement and confidence are vital elements in making a good speech – and you need to know, who you are speaking to:

- The speakers are going to direct their arguments at the judges but at the same time, they have to exude confidence and linguistic conciseness. Without proper delivery, even the best arguments fall short, says the architect of the contest and Assistant Professor Jonas Gabrielsen from the Department of International Culture and Communication Studies.

Convince a president, a CEO and a professional rhetorician – in 5 minutes

The judging panel consists of Tine Roed, Deputy Director General of the Confederation of Danish Industry, CBS President Johan Roos and Janus Beyer, rhetorician and partner in the 37grader consultancy.

Those are the ones that the speakers have to convince. They decide who combines linguistic flair with clever argumentation and refined presentation, thereby creating the best speech. Each student gets 5 minutes on the podium, after which the judges have one hour to deliberate before naming the winner of the first prize, DKK 5,000.

Rhetorical skills are vital to executives

The contest serve an important purpose externally as well as internally at CBS, the man behind the contest emphasises.

- At CBS, we show the students that we take them seriously. We show them that we recognise their professional competences by putting them in front of extremely competent judges. Externally, we want to draw attention to the fact that rhetoric ought to be recognised as an essential part of management. Executives talk all the time, they argue, convince and negotiate – and they use their rhetorical skills for all of the above. Rhetoric is to be seen as a vital part of management and ought to be a natural element in teaching, Jonas Gabrielsen says.

Join us and witness the art of making great speeches.

- Who knows? You might learn something.

Thursday 10 December 2009 from 18:00 to 20:30 at the SP 201 lecture hall.

The page was last edited by: Communications // 12/10/2009