The Presentation Practice Center (PPC) will be hosting an “Oscar-themed” Better to Best event at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the MC Little Theater.

The workshop welcomes all students and invites them to participate in fun, interactive games. PPC employees have organized activities for students to practice and apply public speaking principles.

“It’s a bunch of games to help develop these skills, not necessarily standing up in front of a big crowd and public speaking,” said Events Director Braeden Jolstead.

Jolstead explained that students will meet in the Little Theater and, after an introduction, will disperse into different rooms to compete in games. From each activity, students will be nominated for a pretend Oscar award that has an attached prize.

A Night at the Oscars poster.

A Night at the Oscars poster. Photo credit: PPC

“I think that this event really helps people get out of their comfort zones, but in a good way — in a way that it’s like ‘okay, I can do this, I’m confident in this,’” said Abby Thomson, a PPC tutor and employee on the events committee.

As a PPC tutor, Thomson is responsible for helping people gain confidence in who they are and the potential they have in public speaking.

Both Thomson and Jolstead remarked on the relevancy of public speaking in society.

“I think there’s a lot of times that we don’t notice when public speaking happens,” Jolstead said. “These awesome inspirational speeches that happen in movies are public speaking, and we just want to help people realize that and realize that it’s really fun and cool.”

Abby Thomson helping a student in a PPC tutor session

Abby Thomson helping a student in a PPC tutor session Photo credit: Emily Ormston

Jolstead emphasized that public speaking skills are needed in the workforce. He mentioned that skills are needed in pitching business ideas, explaining concepts in the medical field and giving talks in sacrament meetings.

“It’s just a part of life,” Jolstead said. “You will public speak at some point of your life. It’s powerful and it’s cool, and it’s not just something that should be feared and avoided. It’s something that you can use to change people’s opinions and inspire others.”

Jolstead shared that he used to be against public speaking and would even fake sickness just to get out of it in church.

“I took the public speaking class,” Jolstead said, “and as I’ve gone to college and seen what power, and rhetoric, and speeches have on people, it’s really helped me want to have a desire to develop those skills and help other people develop those skills.”

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