The Harding public speaking club, HU Speaks, hosted Speak Life Day, an encouragement event, on the front lawn Thursday, April 20 from 3-6 p.m. The event included poetry readings, music performances, and an opportunity for students to acknowledge people who have positively influenced or inspired them.
“I hope that this kind of lifted their spirits,” said junior Hannah Hitchcox, public relations coordinator and event planner for HU Speaks. “I know this is a really rough part of the semester, and so I hope that it gave [students] a break from what they are doing right now. I hope that they will enjoy the moment and take some time to appreciate the people who have brought them to where they are.”
Microphones and a stage were provided for students to use to share their experiences and affirmation for others. Each student who spoke was entered into a drawing for several gift cards for local restaurants.
“I don’t want us to be reminded to speak life into people only when death happens or when something tragic strikes, but I want us to have a positive motivator, and this could be that for people to continue to do it beyond this day,” said Aundrey Flewellen, president of HU Speaks. “Speaking life into people is important, and its needed because sometimes I think we have to be reminded.”
HU Speaks was created in January and currently consists of approximately 15 members who practice prepared and impromptu speeches in front of each other during meetings. According to Hitchcox, the club was designed to encourage students to practice public speaking skills that they can use in the future.
“Public speaking is something that I think is a very important tool to have on the job hunt and in the work field because it transcends all majors and all job spectrums,” Hitchcox said. “I really thought we need a club that emphasizes that and takes away the fear surrounding public speaking because it is kind of scary.”
Speak Life Day was the first campus-wide event for HU Speaks, and the members hope the event encouraged more students to participate in the club.
“God spoke life into existence, and that’s how he created us,” Flewellen said. “He created love for us as well, and as being a reflection of God, we as people have the power to do the same thing. Not to the same extent, but in a smaller way — create life and bring joy to people.”