Overcoming Fear: Introducing the IEW Speech Contest

Jun 01, 2023 | Posted by Nick

Public speaking is an important tool that students often overlook, overshadowed by a fear of presenting ideas to peers, teachers, or even strangers. When students begin their careers, the two most useful skills that will help them stand apart are writing and public speaking. That’s why we are thrilled to announce IEW’s first-ever worldwide speech contest!

The goal of IEW’s speech contest is to encourage students to gain practical public speaking experience. Students will have the opportunity to practice and hone their brainstorming, drafting, memorizing, delivery, and overall public speaking skills through competition. This speech contest is open to students aged 12–16, and students can compete in one or more of the four categories: self-introductory, narrative, persuasive, and expository speeches.

Competitors can submit their recorded speeches starting October 1, 2023. The deadline is December 4, 2023. Judges will select winners in early 2024 using these critique forms and award students with cash prizes and their teacher or parent with an IEW gift certificate.

The reality is that not even the new AI tools can relieve the burden of public speaking from students in their future careers. Although ChatGPT might be able to draft a rough (keyword: rough!) outline, having ownership of their subjects will translate into a cool, collected confidence in students’ deliveries. Only through consistent practice can students become confident and competent communicators. Practice and repetition are key to unlocking public speaking potential and relieving some of the fear.

Practice does not mean fear will not exist. At the very least, though, students know they have presented before, and that can often be enough to help them overcome their fears.

If your students are interested in participating but not sure where to start, IEW recently launched Introduction to Public Speaking, a video course designed to help students develop the fundamental skills of public speaking. To try this program for free, visit IEW.com/free-speech-lessons

We hope this opportunity encourages you and your students to prioritize public speaking. When your students are ready to take a leap into live competition, consider checking out other outstanding speech and debate organizations like Stoa, National Christian Forensics and Communications Association, and the National Speech and Debate Association.


Nick Buscemi has been associated with IEW since childhood when his father began working for the company.  He has taken many years of classes directly from Andrew Pudewa and has extensive experience with IEW’s methods of writing and speaking. Throughout high school Nick competed in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association, reaching the national tournament his senior year in Team Policy Debate. Nick graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an associate degree in communications.


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