Megan Gawron, a Junior Diplomacy major at Seton Hall University, won top superior in two categories in the National Biennial Pi Kappa Delta Convention and Tournament for Speech and Debate. Winning top superior means ranking in the top three of all participants that competed. She placed #1 in communication analysis and #3 in discussion events. The tournament which took place from March 9th to March 12th at the University of Central Florida was the first nationally held in-person speech and debate tournament held since the COVID-19 Pandemic and had a total of 61 schools in attendance.
The Brownson Speech and Debate Team is well known for its tradition of persuasive excellence that stems back over 75 years. The team has a longstanding tradition of competing nationally in a wide variety of speaking events. Since the initial lockdown from the COVID-19 Pandemic, the team has been competing remotely. This presented a bit of a challenge, as Gawron puts it, "One of the biggest things with speech is being able to connect with your audience and that's just really hard to do over the camera."
In high school, Gawron had already developed an aptitude for speech through her school's model united nations program and debate team. During her junior year of high school, she applied for Seton Hall's Forensics, Speech, and Debate Scholarship, which awards incoming freshman and transfer students who display outstanding academic excellence and public speaking skills with tuition aid in exchange for participating in the Brownson Speech and Debate Team.
Though she joined the team as a debater, which is far more adversarial by nature, Gawron soon realized that her true passion was speech, which is all about equipping you with the tools to be a better advocate. For Gawron, who hopes to one day be a lawyer, speech has given her the skills to better articulate herself in ways that reach further. Being on the team has not only improved her public speaking ability but has also enhanced her writing and analysis skills which all allow her to be a better advocate.
When asked what makes a great speaker, Gawron stated that passion, drive, and a desire to impact the world are key. "Being on the team has taught me that persuasive speaking is much more than just convincing other people that you're right, it's about convincing people that there are action items that people can act on for the issues they're passionate about."
Categories: Nation and World