speech faq

WHEN IS THE SPEECH CLUB SEASON?

Speech Club begins typically begins the third or fourth week of the school year - and runs through the final tournament, which usually takes place in April. You and will be informed early enough at the beginning of the school year through various information channels.

DOES MY CHILD NEED TO HAVE EXPERIENCE IN SPEECH?

No, we welcome all students, irregardless of experience.

CAN MY CHILD COME TO A MEET AT THE BEGINNING TO SEE IF THEY’RE INTERESTED?

Yes, just give the Speech Coordinator a quick notice, and your child is most certainly welcome to try it out.

HOW DO I SIGN UP MY STUDENT?

Contact the Speech Coordinator Mercedes Hepp m.hepp@me.com, (425.329.5994), or fill out the form provided on the website, and turn it in at the School Office along with a check made out to St. Luke for USD 25.00

WHAT IS SPEECH? I’M UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT IT IS.

Speech is more than just learning to make a great presentation - it’s about feeling comfortable speaking in public, and communicating effectively with poise and confidence. Speech skills prepare the students to share effectively their work, ideas and passions in front of teachers, classmates, professors, employers, teams, public groups, etc. It is, quite simply, one of the most important set of skills that a child can learn.

WHAT ARE THE STUDENTS DOING DURING THE SPEECH MEETS?

Speech Meets vary according to the needs of the students, and the time of the season. During the first weeks, the basic skills and concepts are introduced through fun group and individual exercises. Diction, eye contact, expression, projecting the voice, and many other skills are introduced and practiced. Special focus is placed on preparing the students for the first speech tournament during the following weeks, and the Team learns the importance of team spirit, participation, and above all: perseverance.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A SPEECH TOURNAMENT?

Click here.

WHAT KINDS OF SPEECHES ARE THE STUDENTS ABLE TO COMPETE IN?

See Categories section in the handbook.

DOES THE SPEECH CLUB HAVE ACCESS TO SCRIPTS?

Yes, the Speech Club has over 80 manuscripts which students can choose from. However, taking time to research online for new scripts is highly encouraged. The process of finding a good script is valuable. Many manuscripts available through the Club have been used frequently in Speech competitions, which means there’s a body of experience, but many judges have heard them before - which should be taken into account.

CAN WE LOOK OURSELVES FOR A SPEECH MANUSCRIPT?

Yes, by all means. Here is a valuable list of online resources.

ARE ALL SPEECHES DERIVED FROM PUBLISHED SOURCES?

No, some speech categories are to be the original written work of the students themselves. These are the events at the tournaments with the least number of competitors. Hence, those students who opt for Expository, Oratory or Editorial Commentary, have a greater chance to win a prize. Ask your child: are they writing in their L.A. class a persuasive essay? Did they have to make a presentation in class on a topic of their choice? These most likely can be used and adapted for speech!

HOW SHOULD A MANUSCRIPT LOOK LIKE?

A script should be typed on one side only, 1.5 to double-spaced, in 14 font, on regular school-size white paper. The script should be copied many times and safeguarded or saved online. The student should use a first copy to bring to the Speech Meets and regularly make speech notations with pencil on the script. Eventually, the closer to the tournament, the student needs to decide on the final script. Will it be the original one? Or are the notations too manyfold and/or sloppy? May be better to use a fresh copy and reduce the notations. Slip the pages into plastic covers with a black construction paper on the backside to stiffen and protect each page. Alternatively, you may glue each page onto a stiff black construction poster board cut to size (slightly larger than the white script paper itself). Keep the speech in a good folder! Be sure to number the pages.

CAN’T THEY PERFORM FROM A BOOK?

No. The passages selected out of published material should be re-typed into a script (see above).

CAN MY CHILD GET PRIVATE LESSONS?

Once closer to the tournament, Speech Club becomes more energised than ever, and the Team’s coaches offer private lessons during school lunch time, after school, and when the time permits, coordinates an off-site marathon practice day on a weekend. The Team is informed about private lessons. Please encourage your child to contact the Coordinator directly by mail to arrange a meeting time. It’s good practice for the student to take ownership of their own schedule, and recognise and act on their needs.

HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD?

Be proactive and ask him/her what they’re learning. Are they practicing regularly? 10 minutes a day is good once the scripts are ready. We learn warm-ups. Are they doing a warm-up before practicing? Depending on where we are in the season, perhaps your child is still unsure which speech category they want to compete in. Please refer to the Speech Handbook (link) and read through the categories with your child. They tell you about time limits of the speech (spoken), as well as important tips on what the judges will be looking for, such as appropriate gestures. We try to have the students decide on a speech (-es) to practice and compete with by end of October latest. Consult the link on Finding Speeches.

WHAT’S IMPROMPTU?

Impromptu is a category of speech event at which the student is given a choice of three topics to speak about. They are given two minutes to prepare before performing their speech in front of the judge. Impromptu develops quick thinking, organisational skills, broadening vocabulary, and can highlight the creativity of the speaker. This form of speech requires no pre-written work. But the students who do best in this category are interested in current events, history, are avid readers, or avid storytellers. We devote time to Impromptu for all students, irregardless if they opt not to compete in that category in a tournament. We are happy to report, that the Speech Club has had a very high percentage rate of students who want to compete in this category.

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