News Release

David Bernard
Public Relations Associate, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720

What's So Funny About Public Speaking?

WilmU Dover Toastmasters judge peers' humorous speech competition

Six members of the Wilmington University - Dover Toastmasters Club recently made the trip to Newark to judge a public speaking competition for their New Castle County peers.

At the September 9 event, held in the auditorium at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics on GBC Drive, WilmU -Dover's club members weighed in on which participants from Newark-area clubs delivered the best humorous thematic speech. They also determined which members offered the most effective analysis of a prepared speech they'd observed, as communicated through a two- to three-minute evaluation.

"Every event is an opportunity to learn and grow more as a speaker," said Jonathan Mallory, a site associate at the Dover campus, and one of the six club members who volunteered to judge, count ballots, and act as sergeant-at-arms for the event. "Observing the other competitors gives me the motivation to push myself to become better. I was surprised by how creative and innovative the other contestants were."

Joining Mallory as judges were Crystal Bryant, James Crowe, Samantha Golt, Derrick Thomas, and Julie Van Alstyne. The September 9 event was the first time that WilmU - Dover Toastmasters have served as volunteer judges.

The humorous speeches were judged on their speakers' originality, delivery, timing, confidence, body language, and vocal variety, Mallory said. Participants who evaluated speeches considered such factors as eye contact, vocal projection, poise and position, the use of notes (or lack of) during the speech, and the use of floor space while speaking.

Winners from the area contests go on to compete with other areas' winners for the district title, the highest level for humorous speech and speech evaluation contests.

"I'm impressed by the commitment of the members of the Dover club," said Mallory, its immediate past president. "Over 95% of them are current WilmU students, so they're juggling school, work, and other obligations, and yet they still find the time to participate in Toastmasters! Our club has fun and is growing."

Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization, founded in the U.S. but with worldwide membership, whose members focus on public speaking and leadership skills.

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit institution committed to providing career-oriented, traditional and online associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. The Wilmington University difference starts with our flexible, year round class schedules and full online learning availability and our graduates end with substantive degrees through one of the lowest tuitions in the tri-state region. Combined with our intense focus on academic excellence and individualized attention to our students in our degree and certificate programs and doctoral degrees, the WilmU difference is reflected in our students' achievements and alumni successes. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email at, or visit

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 - New Castle, DE