How to be paid for talking

Richard Decker
Staff Writer

How would you like to potentially be paid $100 for a few minutes of your time?

The Entrepreneur’s Club of Hudson Valley is hosting its bi-annual Speak-Off Contest on Wednesday, Feb 7 in Brahan Hall, Room 104 at 2 p.m.

The school-level competition is the first phase of SUNY Plattsburgh’s Free Enterprise Speak-Off, and the winner of Hudson Valley’s competition will be awarded $100 by the University. Competitors are tasked with presenting a three- to four-minute speech on the assigned topic: What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

The Speak-Off competition rules posted by the Entrepreneur’s Club state contestants must prepare their own original speeches. PowerPoint or similar presentation software is prohibited while notes are permissible, and there will be a 15-second grace period after the four-minute mark.

The winner of Wednesday’s competition will advance to the SUNY Plattsburgh Free Enterprise Marathon and compete against 10 other regional colleges. The Speak-Off Finals will take place in the morning, and participants are invited to attend the awards ceremony banquet in the evening. The Finals awards include 1st place $700, 2nd place $500, 3rd place $300 and 4th place $150.

Thomas Nevins, the club president, believes this is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills.

“I did not participate in the Speak-Off last year, but it is a great way to practice speech preparation and public speaking,” Nevins said. “The participants are able to gain valuable skills such as teamwork, public speaking [and] networking.”

Marketing professor and Entrepreneur’s Club adviser Jodi Mather encourages students from all fields of study to participate.

“As a matter of fact, teams that are made up of students with different majors tend to do the best in the competition,” Mather explained.

While Hudson Valley has an extraordinary job placement success rate among two-year schools, it is an unfortunate reality of today’s job market that students must truly set themselves apart from the rest of the flock.

“This is a really unique experience that demonstrates skills that will help [career applicants] stand out,” Mather said.

Both Entrepreneur’s Club’s Speak-Off and SUNY Plattsburgh’s Free Enterprise Marathon, explains Mather, are an extraordinary opportunity to form long-standing friendships, both personal and professional. One year, students were placed with corporate executives from McDonald’s headquarters.

Students interested in competing should email or visit Jodi Mather (j.mather@hvcc.edu, BRN 225) or Danielle Blesi (d.blesi@hvcc.edu, BRN 224) to submit an application no later than next Monday.

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