When Sabrina Abdalla’s friends urged her at the last minute to compete in the U’s HIP Talks last year, she had no idea she would end up winning the Audience Favorite prize.

Abdalla, a junior in biology, said she had no prior experience in public speaking and was surprised when she became a finalist. She said competing was beneficial and taught her she has a voice she can use to express her views on important issues. Her two-minute speech, entitled “More than Enough,” was a poem she had written about racial inequality and police brutality towards minorities.

This year, the Hinckley Institute, along with ASUU, will again hold its annual HIP Talks competition to honor Wayne Owens, former Utah Congressman. Students are invited to deliver a two-minute speech in front of a panel of judges on any subject they would like. The format of the speech is decided by the students and can be creative, funny, informational or otherwise.

This year, preliminary rounds will be held on April 11, 13 and 19. Both undergraduate and graduate students can sign up for all three and attempt to qualify for the finals. One finalist will receive a grand prize of $5,000, while four runners-up and one audience favorite will receive $1,000.

Anna Edelman, administrative program coordinator with Hinckley Institute, said the goal of the competition is to provide a venue for students to have their voices heard and express themselves. HIP Talks is also an outlet to practice public speaking.

The number of participants in the final round and judges have not been finalized, Edelman said. Previously, judges were professors, former state legislatures, members of the local media and other professionals with experience in public speaking.

Abdalla said she would recommend students, regardless of their experience, to sign up for the competition. Abdalla said it’s an experience connecting with an audience, and have her ideas resonate.

The final round will be held April 20 at 5 p.m. in the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Moot Courtroom.

For more information on times for the preliminary rounds and to register for the event, students can visit the Hinckley Institute’s website here:




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