Vivian Noyd, a senior strategic communication major from Wenatchee, Washington, is one of two students from TCU to compete in this year’s Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest on February 26. The other TCU student competing is Cage Sawyers, a senior interdisciplinary inquiry major. The contest, held annually since 1926, is the oldest university and college-level competition in Texas. The top five finalists receive cash prizes and the overall winner will deliver his or her speech to an audience of 500 dignitaries and association members at the Battle of Flowers Annual Luncheon to be held during Fiesta Week. The theme is “EXTRA! EXTRA! Texas Journalists Making History,” and this year, participants will give their speeches over Zoom. We caught up with Noyd to hear how she’s preparing to compete in the prestigious speaking competition.
How have you prepared for this competition?
I spent time last semester and over winter break writing and practicing my speech. Now, I’m in the memorization phase and perfecting all of the little movements, gestures and physical components of a great speech ahead of the competition.
What will it be like to compete via Zoom? Do you have to prepare any differently than you would for speaking in-person?
While it will be different, I feel like I spend 90 percent of my life on Zoom these days. Last semester I took Advanced Public Speaking, which was a hybrid class. Taking this course allowed me to become comfortable delivering speeches to my classmates on Zoom and in person. The skills that I refined in that class will be beneficial as I prepare to deliver my speech during the competition. The only difference in preparation I’ve noticed is that I have to learn how to speak without relying on the audience’s faces and feedback. However, I look forward to the opportunity to deliver my speech and hear those of my peers!
What’s the topic of your speech?
I’ll be sharing the story of Vivian Castleberry, a nationally recognized Texas journalist who was the first woman to be named to the Dallas Times Herald editorial board and revolutionized women’s news.
How has majoring in the Schieffer College prepared you for public speaking or how has it enhanced your communication skills?
As a member of the Schieffer College, I’ve had many incredible opportunities that have honed my communication skills and prepared me to become a successful public speaker. From my Writing and Editing Class my sophomore year to Advanced Public Speaking this last semester, I feel confident in my ability to craft a succinct, convincing and organized speech and deliver it with passion and clarity.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’m incredibly thankful for the dedication and support of my mentor, instructor Carrie Moore, throughout this project. She has helped me craft a speech that I’m proud of and has encouraged me every step of the way!