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A day at the speech! Annual Delaney contest serves up a real winner this year • Brooklyn Paper

A day at the speech! Annual Delaney contest serves up a real winner this year

Champ speaker Chandra Persaud is the talk of St. Francis College!

The soft-spoken 21-year-old junior won the Delaney Speech Contest at the Brooklyn Heights institution, clinching major bragging rights — plus $500 — for a four-minute monologue on the portrayal of women in media advertising.

“The women we see in commercials are usually tall, thin, young and white,” said Persaud, who spoke about the need for more plus-sized and minority women in broadcast and print media at the April 26 event.

“The ideal of beauty in our society is very stereotypical, this false image of beauty is inaccurate, and has drastic affects in all women, but especially in young woman,” she noted, adding, “Beauty is plural, it comes in different forms.”

Persaud, who studies advertising and public relations at the college on Remsen Street, between Clinton and Court streets, was an 11th-hour entry into the competition which required 20 contestants to deliver their commentaries without reading from a prepared paper, nor from memory, but with all the nuances associated with natural public speaking.

Persaud said that she didn’t know that she had won until the following day when her professor asked her if she had seen the posting of the winners’ names.

“We walked over together and when I saw I had won, I was so happy that I was jumping up and down,” she laughed.

For now, the winnings are secondary to her greater dream: landing a career in public relations that will “change the way” advertising works.

The annual contest is named for speech professor Francis Delaney, who made it his mission in the 1950s and ’60s to temper his students’ Brooklyn accents in order to help them get ahead in their careers. After his death, he left a small sum to the school to help keep alive the fading art of persuasive speech.

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