General Information

The Annual Engineering Speaking Competition seeks to recognize University of Illinois engineering students who are excellent technical communicators. By recognizing these students in a public competition, Engineering Ambassadors seeks to show that University of Illinois students defy the stereotypes that engineers are poor communicators. The competition will consist of two rounds, with the final round being held on Saturday, April 1st, 2017 from 3­-5 PM in Transportation Building 103.

Contestants will display mastery over communication by creating a talk that addresses the prompt:

“Engineering a More Sustainable Future”

There are no limits on what problem can be chosen, but the talk should present a clear engineering solution to an environmental, conservation, or sustainability issue. Excellent presentations will demonstrate a firm understanding of the engineering principles underlying the problem and the engineering techniques involved in your solution. Competitors do not need to be the unique inventor of the solution, but should credit sources and present information in a new and engaging way.

The format for the talk should be derived from Engineering Ambassadors technqiues. (; All presentations should have strong verbal and nonverbal communication elements. Visual aids and presentation slides are permitted but not required. If slides or visual aids are used, they will be judged with the same judging criteria as the verbal communication element (described by the rubrics provided in the Judging Criteria section). Contestants who advance to the final round will be given the opportunity to receive feedback on their slides and visual aids.

By applying to the competition, competitors agree that the talk submitted is their own unique work that does not consist of plagiarized material. To this end, competitors should cite sources as appropriate. Competitors should also refrain from blatant personal or corporate promotion. For updated information on the competition, visit this link here.

Competition Structure

The Engineering Speaking Competition will consist of two rounds. In both rounds, contestants will be speaking to the prompt: “Engineering a More Sustainable Future”
The first round is a qualifying round, in which interested competitors will submit an online application that consists of questions regarding interests and qualifications. A 1 to ­3 minute video of them giving the introduction of the talk is also part of the application. The responses should demonstrate a passion for engineering and challenging the stereotype that engineers are ineffective communicators. The introduction videos should highlight the poise, passion, and speaking skills of the competitor. The deadline to enter is 11:59 PM on Sunday, February 19th, 2017. On February 24th, competitors will be notified whether they have graduated to the second round.
The final round will consist of competitors giving a 7 minute talk to a panel of four judges on Saturday, April 1st from 3-­5 PM in Transportation Building 103. The winners of the competition will be announced at the conclusion of this event. This 7 minute talk will build upon the 2 minute introduction submitted in the first round. Contestants who progress to the final round will receive feedback on their introduction and have the opportunity to receive feedback on any visual aids or presentation slides. Minor changes to the introduction of the talk are permitted, although the topic of the talk must stay the same.

Entry & Eligability Requirements

Any current University of Illinois student studying an engineering discipline is eligible to enter. This includes both undergraduate and graduate students, any student in the College of Engineering, and additionally students in Chemical Engineering and CS through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Interested competitors can apply to the first round of the competition using this form.

Prizes and Judging

The winners of the Speaking Competition will receive cash prizes for the following amounts:

  • 1st place: $200
  • 2nd place: $100
  • 3rd place: $50
In terms of judging, refer to this example rubric here