MacGregor Smith Public Speaking Competition

Text reads MacGregor Smith Public Speaking Competition with a graphic of a podium
Date(s) - 09/02/2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The MacGregor Smith Public Speaking Competition was founded by Professor Jack MacGregor Smith, who was the first professor of agricultural engineering and was a polished and entertaining speaker. This annual competition is a long-standing tradition that has been hosted by the Agriculture Club since 1931.

Students must register by February 2, 2023 to participate.


Each student will present a five-minute persuasive speech on a topic related to one of the three competition themes. The presentation style is up to the participant. You are welcome to use photographs, powerpoints or present without visuals.

Audience members will have up to three minutes to ask questions following your presentation.

This is a public competition and there will be an audience and a panel of judges. Judges will evaluate competitors on the following categories:

  • Organization (introduction, body, conclusion, logical flow of ideas)
  • Utilization of time (within 5-minute limit)
  • Ability to convey emotion, passion, or excitement about topic, and knowledge of the topic
  • Clarity of speech (volume, tone, speed, enunciation, inflection)
  • Appropriate use of gestures, non-verbal messages, eye contact
  • Audience engagement (response to questions from the audience)

Monetary Prizes

  • First place: $800
  • Second place: $500
  • Third place: $300