Student Soapbox Guidelines

Soapbox is an informal Honors student, faculty, and alumni forum for the dissemination and exchange of ideas on a wide variety of topics. Most soapboxes take place on Friday afternoons at 3 PM in the Farris Honors Hall Presentation Room, and usually there are two 30 minute presentations. Digital projectors are provided to those who want to utilize visual aids. And of course there are snacks–lots and lots of snacks. UCA students, faculty, and the public are welcome to join us at Soapbox. When preparing for your presentation, please consider the following:

  • Though the soapbox presentation is a less formal event than other honors co-curricular activities, the student presenter(s) should be prepared to deliver a formal presentation or discussion during their time.
  • Each student presenter or group is limited to 30 minutes unless a full hour is arranged with the soapbox coordinator. The discussion should be approximately 25 minutes, saving 5 minutes for questions and answers.
  • The soapbox presentation is an opportunity for students to practice oral communication skills, specifically the ability to develop and present ideas logically and effectively in order to enhance communication with diverse individuals and groups. In order to do so, the presenter(s) should
    • consider their central message and make sure their argument or message is compelling, reinforced, and strongly supported;
    • organize their time so that their presentation is consistent, polished, and makes the content cohesive;
    • employ timely and relevant material to provide effective support in a way that reflects a thorough understanding of the topic;
    • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the context, using compelling language appropriate to the audience;
    • and appear polished and confident in order to make the delivery of the presentation compelling.
  • If your soapbox relates to a personal experience (such as a travel abroad, research, or internship opportunity), ask yourself what you have come to understand better as a result of this experience. Rather than presenting a timeline of your activities, think about what you want attendees to know about the significance of the experience to you. Think about what you want the audience to take away from your presentation. Consider talking about how this experience has helped you to grow or how it has challenged your perspective or viewpoint.
  • If your soapbox relates to some area of research or an area of interest for you, think about what the audience would need to know in order to understand the topic. Think about what you want the audience to take away from the presentation, and what, if any, action you might challenge them to consider. Include information on how they could learn more about the topic if they desired to do so.