RU students place at PBL national competition

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By Thomas May

This past summer, Phi Beta Lambda (the college equivalent of Future Business Leaders of America) hosted its National Speaking Competition in Atlanta on June 25. Two of Reinhardt’s very own, Ethan Alexander and Kristen Holder, competed and placed in their respective categories, placing RU in a national spotlight.

Each state sends two competitors for every category, and the event includes more than 30 individual competitions. Alexander competed in Impromptu Speaking and placed fifth in the nation, while Holder placed eighth in Public Speaking.

The two had contrasting styles of preparation. Impromptu Speaking allows the participants 10 minutes to prepare for a speech that must be at least four minutes, while Public Speaking allows more preparation ahead of time.

Alexander joked that his preparation included “a lot of procrastination in classes” as this allowed him to hone his ability to fabricate things on the spot. Holder, on the other hand, spent hours preparing her pre-written speech and recalled, “I would videotape myself delivering the speech, as well as say it to business professors, family and friends.”

As Reinhardt was one of the smaller schools represented, both competitors shared a special pride for their home in the North Georgia mountains. Holder retold one specific detail, “As I was waiting for the competition, my father sent me a text, simply saying, ‘R U Ready?!’ In that time, I knew I was doing something not only for myself, but Reinhardt University.”

Alexander also shared his thoughts and noted, “I’m up here representing an entire school, and then representing the state on a national level, and able to bring home a trophy for Reinhardt to say, ‘we did this.’ So, it was a pretty proud moment for me for the school.”

They both offered some simple advice for students hoping to achieve goals of a similar nature. “Work at it. Make sure you know how to professionally present something, because you don’t want to walk up there and just be like — monotone and really quiet — and not really know what you’re saying. Be confident in what you’re saying, because if you don’t have confidence, you can’t really do much there. They pick up on that stuff and you get deducted points,” Alexander said.

Holder encourages others to make good use of their time.

“There are 86,400 seconds in a day and how you use them are critical,” Holder said. “Simply give your best and push through. See the opportunity, instead of seeing the obligation to do something.”

If any students would like to get involved with Phi Beta Lambda, Alexander and Holder both encouraged students to talk to one of them or to see Dr. Kathy Hyatt, dean of the McCamish School of Business. There are many competitions, “all the way from speeches, to sports management, and cyber-security,” Alexander said, adding that there are cash incentives for the competitions as well.


Featured Image: Ethan Alexander and Kristen Holder fared well at the national PBL competition this summer. Photo special to The Eagle Eye


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