Help! I don’t know how to judge an Interp speech!

I am actually privy to this sentiment fairly often.  Parents mostly know what they like best when they watch interps.  They might even know why they liked it best over some other interp. But they want to know how to say that articulately to the students on the ballot.  The point of this post is NOT to tell you what should rank higher than something else but to help you identify the bits and pieces that are part of any interp…bits and pieces that you can talk about from your own perspective on your ballots, giving students bits and pieces they can actually work on after the tournament. I was recently in a club meeting where the leader asked the students to share the most helpful comment they had received on a ballot.  The students struggled to find one.  I want students to have LOTS of helpful, useable things.  Things they can take to club and say, “can someone show me how to ___________?” Or “can someone help me change ___________?”  I want things filling in those blanks for our kids!

So here goes….How DO you look at an interp speech?

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The Biggest Mistakes I See Students Make in Interp Speeches

I’ve been at this a LONG time – teaching students how to manage the interpretive speech.  It is definitely a purist endeavor that relies on the student alone to create the entire context suggested by a reduced segment of a piece of literature.  There is nothing easy about it.  When it’s done well, it really works.  As students strive to reach that mark, I find that they make the same basic mistakes along the way, and these fall into two basic categories: technical mistakes and ownership mistakes.  Let me explain….

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Exploring Fonts for a Digital Presentation

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Speech and Debate Leagues have decided to adapt with the world of technology. Speech categories such as Expository, Power Point, or Digital Presentation are among the few events that allow for visual enhancement of the speech, specifically through the use of slides. And although this is the direction the world is turning, it comes with a world of confusion, decisions, and a learning curve. The images, and more importantly, the fonts you choose is another aspect of communication. These decisions are crucial to conveying your message! Today, we will specifically addressing one of the most important aspects of your slides- the font...

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Breaking the Fourth Wall… Why it Matters

Breaking the Fourth Wall results when people on a stage detach from the scene to reach out to the audience, speaking directly to that audience as though they were characters in the scene. I recently read an article comparing an Interpretive Speech to a movie, and that interpers should stay in their little bubble- in other words, the article suggested that interpretive speakers should NOT break the Fourth Wall that stands between themselves and the audience. Kristi and I both agree with each other that we could not DISAGREE more with this concept...

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Kristie breaks it down – What makes cutting soooooo hard?

If you ever tried to take on the task of cutting a story of any length at all down to a ten-minute “cut” for presentation, you’ve tasted the difficulty of the effort.  It’s HARD.  The longer the story and the more you love it, the harder it is.  Why is that?  What makes cutting such a difficult undertaking, and how do you know when you’ve got it right?

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Biblical Thematic – Notebook Woes

Let's face it...the small binder required with a Biblical Thematic speech is HARD to use smoothly, creatively, and effectively! It's the reason that many skilled interpers give this event a pass. Let me challenge you to think hard about trying this event - notebook notwithstanding - for its very real academic and presentation value. To help, here are some ways to think about your binder and how it can enhance a thematic speech.

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Platform Preparation Tips for Clubs

            This week a friend called.  She needed some ideas for her club kids who are working on platforms. They’ve discussed having a thesis.  They are writing, but there is not a lot beyond that to do with those speeches during club meetings right now.  Here are the ideas I shared with her to help kids build platform skills before they have a platform speech prepared:

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The Difference Between an Informative Intro and an Impactful Intro

Definition of Introduction: the thing preliminary to something else, especially in an explanation section at the beginning of a book, report, or speech. If you have read any of the going on 400 articles Lasting Impact! has wrote, I have already made it very clear I think an Introduction is super important element in your Interpretive Speeches. But one type of Intro might have a little more punch when it comes to the judges...

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How to Get the Most from your Humorous Material

            Humor is important in communication.  Knowing how to use humor opens doors that no other skill can get through, BUT humor badly done is also worse than any other communication skill when it’s botched, so it’s awfully important to your ethos as a speaker to manage your humor well and mine all of its potential.

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Try a New Speech Category

I love new Speech categories! The opportunity to try something new or experience something some people might not!? You don't need to be the adventurous type… just be willing to try! Don't let someone tell you, you are a debater or limited prep-type. You define who you are. Give these new speech categories a whirl. This is your time to set the bar. Be the example! Don't sit back and just watch someone else experience something you can… you be the pioneer… ready, set, GO! Let's take a look at a few of the new possibilities this season...

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