Competing in Speech takes poise, confidence, concentration, composure, and self confidence which I believe prepares students for a life and their future careers much more than any athletic sport. Elmwood-Murdock High school has a strong athletic program, with many teams competing at the district and state levels, but their academic extra-curriculum activities such as speech, FBLA and FCCLA are just as strong with many students participating in overlapping contests.
Normally a speech meet is not a spectator sport. Yes, it is a team activity, and while not normally physically draining it is always mentally draining. Speech meets are often all day affairs, requiring the students to leave at six in the morning and not getting home until nine that night. This is my daughter’s first year in speech and this year she is doing Humorous Interpretation, “What Makes the Perfect Parent.” I thought having three characters to portray would be plenty, but next year she said she needs to add more. I watched her classmates duet rendition of “Hansel and Gretel, Open to Interpretation” and was in awe with over 20 characters and voices depicted in just ten minutes.
Now I know, that duet is probably over done, and judges probably hear the same scripts year after year? So the trick is to make the presentation fresh, make it your own, and do something no one else has done. This is where speech team support comes into play. Teammates suggest changes, dialects, inflections, and special added touches. I nearly died when I heard the Austrian Body Builder version, “I vill pumpp vu into ze oven vitch, ohh (strike pose)” and I think the judge did too. The Elmwood-Murdock duet team placed has placed in the finals during most of the season.
Project 365 Lesson: At the last minute I decided to splice my daughters various poses together from my camera video to add to the end of the post. This image was so much better than my original “planned” image of three girls talking to the “wall” that I totally changed the focus of the essay. So lesson learned, sometimes your unexpected, last minute inspiration will win the day.