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September 4, 2013
By Abbie Walker
University of Nevada, Reno students are encouraged to spread their big idea by competing in the first ever Student Speaker Competition, with the winning student receiving a guaranteed spot to speak at TEDxUniversityofNevada 2014. At TEDxUniversityofNevada 2014, the student's talk will be professionally recorded and posted to the TEDx Youtube site, which gives the student the opportunity to reach a global audience with her/his message.
The inaugural Student Speaker Competition will be held from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in the Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre. The competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students interested in presenting at the TEDxUniversityofNevada event, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Topics can pertain to anything from science to businesses to photography and beyond.
"Some of the applications submitted so far are extremely ambiguous and I can't wrap my mind around it, but that is the point of TEDx," Joshua Smith, economic undergraduate student with the College of Business and co-founder of Student Speaker Competition 2013, said. "Many students have great ideas that need to be shared and this is a venue for them to be heard."
Smith said they are looking for students with the ability to speak publicly and spread an idea at a big venue.
"Someone can have a great idea that is inspiring, but they might not be able to share their ideas on a large stage like TEDx," Smith said. "However, since one of the stipulations of applying for the competition is students submitting a video, we will be able to gauge how they are as a presenter on camera first before presenting in front of an audience."
All University students interested in applying for the Student Speaker Competition 2013 must submit a five to seven minute unedited video on YouTube no later than Friday, Sept. 30 to firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, five students will be chosen by Saturday, Oct. 5 to partake in a live speaker competition on Oct. 9 in front of a University member panel.
The panel is comprised of Smith, a co-founder of the competition, along with fellow co-founders Jacob Capurro and Ricardo Saldivar, one or two academic professors, and a member of Associated Students of the University of Nevada.
The idea of a student competition was contrived after College of Business Professor Bret Simmons wanted to look at the future and long-term success of TEDxUniversityofNevada.
"We really appreciate Josh, Jacob, and Ricardo organizing the Student Speaker Competition and are very glad to offer a guaranteed spot to speak at TEDxUniversityofNevada 2014 to the winner," Simmons said. "We hope the student who wins this competition ends up giving one of the best talks of the entire event."
For the upcoming TEDxUniversityofNevada event, Smith says he is not only excited to see the student speaker, but also Victor Hwang, CEO of T2 Venture Capital; Kristin Stith, Community Relations Director for Dolan Auto Group and Barry Posner, Accolti Endowed Professor of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.
"We are looking forward to the success of the student competition," Smith said. "This is going to be an exciting time for us as panel members and the future student speaker."
For more information about the Student Speaker Competition 2013, go to http://www.tedxuniversityofnevada.org/university-of-nevada-student-speaker-competition/.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.
The TEDx initiative grants free licenses to people around the world to organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held, and selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.
Abbie Walker is a graduate student writer for the Communications Office.