Hanzlik’s confidence grows in college
Brittany Hanzlik says public speaking is one of her favorite things. “I really just enjoy talking to other people about anything,” she said.
Hanzlik, a sophomore from Stuart majoring in organization and relational studies, started competing in 4-H public speaking events when she was 8 years old and fell in love with public speaking. She continued to compete as a 4-H member until she entered high school and joined the speech team and competed at that level for all four years.
“My love for public speaking continued to grow the older I became. When I discovered the UNK Forensics Team, I was interested to see what it was all about and was excited to be able to compete again,” Hanzlik said.
“I was never really a quiet child, but I definitely believe by starting to speak in competitions when I was only eight helped me overcome any fear I had of public speaking very early,” Hanzlik said.
In high school, Hanzlik competed in informative and oral interpretation of drama (OID). In college, she currently competes in informative and prose interpretation.
“When you can effectively communicate, things can get done more efficiently and in a more positive manner” – Brittany Hanzlik
“I think the biggest difference I’ve noticed in informative speaking is the topic of one’s speech. In high school, I gave speeches over topics such as bubble gum, hypnosis and tetrachromacy,” she said. In UNK forensics, the topics are usually more abstract and thoughtful. The whole idea is to speak and inform your audience about something that has the potential to drastically impact society in some way.
“While I never competed in serious or humorous prose in high school, the biggest difference I’ve noticed is prose in forensics is the focus on the story itself and the story’s content, while prose in high school involved a lot of different voiced, stances and characters,” Hanzlik said.
Hanzlik said, “The biggest transition I’ve personally gone through for competing at a college level is the way I present my informative speech. I’ve had to learn to not be so robotic and speak with a much more conversational tone.”
“My favorite thing about competition days is just performing my pieces for judges and audiences,” Hanzlik said.
Another favorite part about competing at the college level is the topic choices of others. “I really enjoy listening to other individual’s pieces and topics because they’re very thought provoking and really make you think and see things in a different way,” Hanzlik said.
“I don’t really have any rituals or good luck routines I do before I perform. I usually make sure I’ve practiced my piece at least once before I actually compete and right before I walk up to the front of the room, I take a deep breath to relax myself,” Hanzlik said.
In order to prepare for the weekend meets, Hanslik said, “Practice, practice, practice! I really work to try to improve upon whatever my ballot or coaches think needs improved.”
The forensics team has meetings where they practice Tuesday nights. In addition to those practices, Hanzlik attempts to meet with at least two of her coaches each week. She works with all four of the coaches, Aaron Blackman, Michael Taylor, Heather Kelly and Crystal Hurt.
So far this year, Henlik has competed at speech meets in Hastings, Omaha, Scottsbluff, Crete and a tournament in Illinois.
Hanzlik believes that skills gained in speech and forensics will greatly help in the future. “No matter what career I choose, communication with individuals will be a part of it, and when you can effectively communicate, things can get done more efficiently and in a more positive manner,” she said.
“I think networking and being able to speak in front of a group can help anyone to have more confidence in themselves, which is important for any job or career.”
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