Cydney Stables, a freshman at Graceland University from Gaston, Oregon is competing in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) national extemporaneous public speaking competition October 26. Stables began participating in FFA in middle school and fell in love with the competition aspect during her freshman year of high school.
One of her personal goals was to earn her way to nationals and her senior year of high school, that dream came true. Making it to nationals for the extemporaneous public speaking competition is no easy feat. In order to reach nationals, Stables had to make it through districts, sectionals, state, the first round of nationals and now she is one of 16 people in the country to make it to the second round of nationals.
The extemporaneous public speaking competition is made up of six content divisions about agriculture with three topics per content division. Of the possible 18 topics, two of them are randomly chosen for each competitor and then contestant gets to decide which of the two topics they will speak on.
In preparation for the competition, each contestant is allowed 100 pages of general research of their choice. Once the competitor chooses their topic, they get 30 minutes to prepare their four–six-minute speech and participate in a five-minute question/answer section after they speak. There are industry professional judges who evaluate each contestant, they look for speeches with excellent detail, formatting, for the contestant who demonstrates clear understanding of the topic of choice and an ability to create an excellent speech on the fly.
Stables is majoring in Agricultural-Business, Communications and Sustainability and participates on Graceland’s basketball and golf teams. The Graceland community is cheering her on as she prepares for nationals this month in Indianapolis, Indiana.
To learn more about Graceland University’s Agricultural Business program please visit our program page here.