homas Morgenroth presents a speech made up on the spot in just two minutes.[/caption]She took the stage and had the audience laughing for the next seven minutes. It wasn’t stand-up comedy, but Alexis Arredondo of the PCC Speech and Debate Team.

PCC students showcased their public speaking skills as the team put on “A Night of Oratory” Thursday at the Westerbeck Recital Hall. The event is to prep the team, which is ranked eighth in California, for the Phi Rho Pi National Speech and Debate Tournament.

For the audience it was a blend of serious and informative topics mixed with humor.

“A speech to entertain is a blend of stand-up comedy with basic public speaking skills, like an informative speech or a persuasive speech,” said Allan Axibal-Cordero, the speech and debate team coach. “You get a lot more information heavy, whereas stand-up comedy isn’t about being educational, it’s just to entertain and make people laugh.”

Thomas Morgenroth presents a speech made up on the spot in just two minutes. Nagisa Mihara/Courier
Thomas Morgenroth presents a speech made up on the spot in just two minutes.

Once the speakers are ready to perform it’s easy to forget how much preparation must have gone into what looks like an effortless speech.

“The entire research process is my favorite part,” said Alicia Batice, who presented a persuasive speech about how to handle sexual abuse on college campuses.

As for the performance, Batice’s advice to any students scared of their Speech 1 class is to “breathe [and] remember everyone in the class is nervous too.”

But one speech, in the impromptu speaking category, was given with only two minutes of preparation in front of the audience after the speaker was presented with one quote each from Miley Cyrus, Kurt Cobain and Ice-T.

Thomas Morgenroth chose Ice-T’s “I make an effort to keep it as real as I possibly can,” and presented three examples why deception is a valuable life skill.

After talking about history and Star Wars, Morgenroth decided to take a pause and poke fun at himself.

“History? Star Wars? You can guess the third example won’t be about my girlfriend,” said Morgenroth, which elicited the most laughter that night.

The night was topped off by Matthew Shoop, who talked about how men can fall into classifications of alpha, beta and omega and how he self-identified as a beta.

“Last year I went to Comic-Con dressed as a badass Captain America,” said Shoop.

“I saw this guy, super cute, dressed as Peeta from ‘The Hunger Games’ and I thought ‘Boy, I’m a be your Mockingjay.’”

Shoop’s game fell short when a guy dressed as Red Skull swaggered up and stole Peeta away.

“One of the criteria is that it has to be a new take on something old, or something completely new,” said Shoop. “It’s all real world stuff because if its not current or new, then why should we listen to it?”

This skill set has to be seen live to appreciate, and the team will host another event, A Night of Interp, in the Westerbeck Recital Hall at 7 p.m. on April 2.

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