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Get involved: Online speech contest

All University of Utah students are eligible to win a $1,000-$5,000 scholarship by submitting a two-minute speech online.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, HIP Talks, the Hinckley Institute of Politics’ annual speech contest, has been moved online this year from April 1-10, 2020.

All University of Utah students—undergraduate and graduate—are eligible to win a $5,000 scholarship or one of five $1,000 runner-up scholarships when they submit a video recording of a speech. Video submissions will be reviewed by a judging panel and winners will be selected from the entire pool of submissions.

HIP Talks flyer“HIP Talks is a unique opportunity for students to foster their public speaking skills and to practice in a forum where they’re supported,” said Kyle Tucker, program coordinator at the Hinckley Institute. “It gives students a fun way to talk about something that is important to them, whether it be a social issue, a life lesson or just a funny story, any speech topic is welcome. And the best part is HIP Talks provides an incredible opportunity for students to earn additional scholarship funding.”

The event honors the public speaking skills of former Utah Rep. Wayne Owens. It is sponsored by the Hinckley Institute and the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU). The $10,000 in scholarship prizes are supported by the Congressman Wayne Owens Fund to foster the public speaking skills of students.

“This competition was, without doubt, one of the most fun challenges I have taken on during my time at the U,” said Miranda Stewart, a 2019 HIP Talks runner-up. “The level of authenticity and passion expressed in the speeches was stunning and I believe any person who is willing to put a real, genuine piece of themselves out there for 120 seconds will shine.”

Speeches must be memorized and no longer than two minutes. They can be about any topic the student chooses such as a cause, belief, an incident that changed them or an issue they are passionate about. Contestants may only submit one entry and it must be original content created by the speaker without the use of audiovisuals or props.

“We know this is a trying time for our students even though we can’t host the event with an audience this year, we hope they enjoy creating these videos and we can’t wait to see what they come up with,” said Tucker.

For full eligibility, speech requirements and to submit your video, click here.