$10,000 Speech Competition

In honor of the public speaking skills of former Utah Congressman Wayne Owens, the Hinckley Institute of Politics and ASUU are proud to host the HIP Talks annual speech contest.

This event is open to all University of Utah students who want to contribute original, powerful thinking in the form of public speaking to the U’s legacy.


2017 HIP Talks

Thirty students participated in the final round of the 2017 rendition of HIP Talks. The finale was held in the Bill Child Community Hall on April 20, 2017 with hundreds in attendance and over 2,000 watching the live stream. The winning speeches can be heard here. The winning students were as follows:

  • Grand Prize: Ali Darvish, Feeling Pretty
  • Audience Favorite: Mackenzie Gregerson, Never-ending Story
  • Runner-up: Hannah Fox, One Day the Pain Will be Worth It
  • Runner-up: Jenica Jessen, Mountains, Barbarians, and Elmer Fudd
  • Runner-up: Thulasi Seshan, Britain First
  • Runner-up: Ramakrishnan, An Uncherished Gift
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2016 HIP Talks

Twenty-eight students participated in the final round of HIP Talks on April 20, 2016, in the Moot Courtroom at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Speech topics ranged from immigration to sexism, body image to left-handedness, and sexual assault to the experience of those who identify as LGBTQ+ in the LDS community.

Over 180 students delivered original, two-minute speeches in the second annual HIP Talks competition. Sponsored by the Hinckley Institute of Politics, Congressman Wayne Owens Fund, and Associated Students of the University of Utah, HIP Talks seeks to foster public speaking skills on campus through a university-wide speech competition. 

Grand Prize: Hillary Nikyema, Honey

Grand Prize: Hillary Nikyema, Honey

Runner-up: Hans Liu, The Banana Effect

Runner-up: Hans Liu, The Banana Effect

Audience Favorite: Christian Sears, What I Wish They Told Me

Audience Favorite: Christian Sears, What I Wish They Told Me

Runner-up: Kimberly Valencia, Names

Runner-up: Kimberly Valencia, Names

Runner-up: Alexis Cortez, Hypocrisy

Runner-up: Alexis Cortez, Hypocrisy

Runner-up: Dylan Wootton, Seeing Beyond Pink Underwear

Runner-up: Dylan Wootton, Seeing Beyond Pink Underwear


2015 HIP Talks

Two minute speeches were delivered on a wide variety of topics.  The top speakers from each preliminary round competed in the celebrity-judged finals. Recordings of the finalists can be found at KCPW. Fox 13's coverage of the final event can be found here

  • Grand Prize: Emily Glende, Teaching
  • Humorous: Rachael Palmer, Pocket Inequality
  • Compelling: Chaz Allen, The Mercenary Divide
  • Informative: Nora Abu Dan, Got Time
  • Original: Devin Price, Dead Beat Dads
  • Audience Favorite: Sabrina Abdalla, More than Enough
The winners from Left to Right: Nora Abu Dan, Rachael Palmer, Sabrina Abdalla, Emily Glende, Devin Price, and Chaz Allen.

The winners from Left to Right: Nora Abu Dan, Rachael Palmer, Sabrina Abdalla, Emily Glende, Devin Price, and Chaz Allen.


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