Opinion- Short Scripts – Yes or No? (Plus Vlog)


There is now a whole market of short scripts, written for competitive speech and available easily online.  Lots of kids are going that route to find their competitive interp pieces.  Seasoned coaches, Kristi Eskelund and Heather Neumann give their thoughts and opinions on the script debate…

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Novices- Where to Start in Speech and Debate – part 2

In the last article, we analyzed where novices could/should start in Speech and Debate, in general. That included debate, as well as the type of speeches - Platform, Interp, and Limited Prep. Today we are going to look at the specific categories of speeches offered in different leagues, because I often get asked the question, "what speech event should my novice/beginning student do?"

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Novices- Where to Start in Speech and Debate – part 1

I am sure if you were to ask ten different Speech and Debate Coaches what type of Speech or Debate is good to do for a beginning student, you might get ten different answers. Of course each and every senerio is going to be unique and so here are some of my thoughts when encouraging new students to start Speech and Debate…

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Speech and Debate Club- Time and Commitment to both Advanced and Novice Members

One of the great challenges in Speech and Debate clubs - especially well-established and growing clubs - is how to make the club time valuable for both ends of the experience spectrum- advanced and beginner students.  A new family in the club knows nothing and is feeling overwhelmed and uniformed.  They need to know what the events are.  They need practice and instruction in basic skills.  They need to know what they are aiming for.  They want to grow so they can do this speech thing.   And let's face it, those kids who have competed a couple of seasons don't want to learn basic skills again.  They don't want to have the events explained to them.  They don't even want to demonstrate last year's speeches!  They want to grow themselves.    How do we find the balance here?

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What?! Speech All Year Long?!

People have asked me- “how did your kids become so successful?” They assume I have a degree in theater, they think my kids are all “naturally gifted”, or they think we just happened to stumble on the perfect piece. The fact of the matter is, my kids put a lot of time into Speech… We all do! Speech is a team effort in my home. Speech and Debate is a year long event.

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The Value of Summer Speech and/or Debate Camp

Tis the season… to go to camp? Fa-lala-la-la…. Wait a minute- it’s summer!  Aren’t we all on break? No one is thinking of Speech and Debate now, right? WRONG! As I was sitting in my living room last week, with some Speech and Debate friends,  I heard multiple reasons for NOT going to a Speech and/or Debate Camp…

If you must know, it was a friendly debate… And I think I won. But I didn’t just want to convince them, I wanted them to believe it!

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New Service!! Script Assessment

It is that time in the season where you feel like you have looked at your script a million times. You have done all the revisions you can do. Where can your Speech possibly go from here? Are there any additional changes that can be done? Is this what a perfect Speech looks like? I have an answer! Let us look at your script! The Lasting Impact! Team is full of ideas, they have fresh perspective, and are excited to work with you.

What is the process? Simply Contact Us. Let us know you have a script you want us to review. Someone will contact you shortly. You can decide which coach you would like to work with, or one will be assigned to you depending on your needs and desires. After you submit your speech, and a coach has had time to assess (approx. 24-48 hours), you will receive a personal call (the call should take between 30-45 minutes) and give feedback, ideas, and an evaluation of your Speech. The rest is up to you!

How much does this cost? Only $20 members/$25 non members

Note: This service is provided with the intent to provide feedback on content. Although minor editing may be done, the purpose is the feedback on actual Speech. Also, please note- this is not a “script submission” check.

Character Development

How well do you really know someone?  What’s their story? What’s their background? We are midway through the season… And I want to see competitors fully engaged to their characters in their Interpretive Speeches (this includes Biblical Presentation). At this point competitors should have a sense of who their characters really are. I can tell when one is performing a memorized speech and when one is truly visualizing and understanding each and every character. I want every competitor to bring it to the next level. This is the difference between performing and acting.

Kristi and I have developed a resource to bring your Interp to the next level! Our Character Analysis and Worksheets help competitors really process who their characters are. Warning- research and actual thought process may have to be done.

Let me give you some examples- If you are playing the part of a child with cancer- you may want to visit a hospital with cancer patients. Are you connected and understand what they are going through? If you want a character to have a German accent, you may need to go on YouTube to learn how. If you are trying to develop your character of Wilber, in Charolette’s Web, you may need to dig deep to understand loneliness and what a friend would really mean to you. This may sound over the top, but really understanding and developing your characters is pivotal for a well-rounded piece. For my students, this is what I want them to achieve, I want them to understand what they are trying to represent. This is part of the lesson of being in Speech- understanding people or characters in a whole new way.

Our worksheets bring you through the process of developing YOUR characters. The reason I stress your is because, I should not see the same Interpretation twice. Your development of characters should be unique. If you don’t know who your character is or who they are trying to represent- you need to go through the process of figuring it out. The worksheets will help you with…

Emotional Development

Character Analysis


Physical Development

and more!

Here’s what people have said about our worksheets…

“WOW – The Character Analysis and Worksheets is a super helpful document! I was familiar with the concept of character development, but this fleshed it out so thoroughly! It really does separate those performers who have done the work and those who haven’t. It takes the character from two dimensions to three!” -Parent

These worksheets helped me develop my characters, so I could really visualize who I wanted them to be.” -Student

“I wish I had these when I started Speech years ago!” -Student

My hope is that at the end of the season, students will have more than just “a Speech”. That they will have accomplished more than just memorizing a piece of literature, a play, script, or section of the bible. My hope is for students to have a deeper understanding of characters and people. That this experience in Speech will impact them, as well their audience, for the rest of their lives.