Ready… Not Ready (How to survive signing up for a Speech and Debate Tournament)

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” Apparently, Mary Poppins had never signed up for a Speech and Debate Tournament!! Ah- the STRESS!! First there is IF you are going to sign up… Are your parents making you? Are your speeches written? Do you have a case yet? Just breathe! Let us be your guide… your own little Mary Poppins to help you navigate the task set before you. How to survive signing up for a Speech and Debate Tournament…

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

For all you, Speech and Debaters (and Coaches and Clubs) Start Where You Are – Aim Where You Want To Be

Who's having trouble getting started right now? On anything...

In the wake of extensive 'shut downs' and tectonic shifts of our existing paradigms, most of us are having trouble gearing up to start anything back up. Nothing is working the way it has in the past. Nothing is clear about what comes a month from now, or even next week. There seems to be no long-term vision or goal that feels attainable. That makes it hard to start. And yet...start we must. It's a new beginning.

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

Add Fun to Virtual/Online Club – 11 Virtual Games Club Leaders Should Try

It's a whole new world!! Is the thought of running your speech and debate club online getting you down? Heather Neumann, Founder of Lasting Impact!, has created a whole list of virtual games, activities, and fun, regardless of what online platform you are using (these could all be done in person too). Check out these great ideas on how to engage, interact, and connect with your students online this year. Remember, although club may look different from years past, students still want the opportunity to get together, express themselves, and grow through the art of communication! These game are easy and fun! Let me know what you think, and remember- You Got This!

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

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?

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

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….

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

Exploring Fonts for a Digital Presentation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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...

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

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...

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

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?

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

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.

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.

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:

You need to be a member to view this content.  Please sign up or login.