Showing their communication skills

Ten College Members contested the Reynolds Communication Cup and Prize at a special event held at the College on Monday evening, 25 September.

The Cup and Prize were kindly donated a few years ago by College Fellow Professor John Reynolds for the best essay or speech in communicating science (“science” is interpreted broadly).

This year the competition took the form of a three-minute presentation on a topic of the Member's choice (anything they are passionate about). Only one PowerPoint slide was permitted but not compulsory.

The criteria were:

  • Communication style. Was the topic communicated well to the audience?
  • Comprehension. Did the presentation help the audience understand the topic?
  • Engagement. Was the audience left wanting to know more?

Three experienced judges were invited to assess the talks: Claire Gallop (Academic Administration Manager in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Otago); Dr Nicola Mutch (Executive Communications Director at the Southern District Health Board); and Chris Stoddart (Manager, Policy and Compliance at the University of Otago).

The following ten Members competed for the Cup and Prize (in order of talking):

  • Likhit Dukkipati: Friends
  • Léa Dumaine: The sugar industry
  • Nicola-Mary Geraghty: Science and theology
  • Michael Young: A crisis of competence
  • Brittany Jones: PGD: Our moral obligation
  • Madeleine  Fountain: Rediscovering the ivory towers
  • Naveen Pallavan: Me
  • Susie Kwon: The law of attraction
  • Abby Fowler: New Zealand's non-suspicious killer
  • Richard Gayfer: Why prisoners can't vote (and why it matters)

The standard of their talks was excellent and they are all to be congratulated for a top class effort.

The judges provided constructive feedback to each presenter immediately following their respective talks. After spending some time deliberating at the end of the event, the judges announced Abbey Fowler as the winner. The Peoples’ Choice Award went to Madeleine Fountain.

My sincere thanks to Welfare Staff Member Sarah McQueen for organising the entire event so capably and being an excellent Master of Ceremonies. Sarah won the competition herself two years ago.

(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)

Posted: Tuesday September 26, 2017