As the Helias Speech Team prepares for the upcoming season, they are busy with practices and meetings to set themselves up to do as well, or better, than last year. Last year, the team had two first place finishes, a second and two thirds.
According to Sharon Crider, the Speech Team’s Coach, this is a year for the team to rebuild and for the students with experience to help those new to the team. “We had a very large group of seniors graduate last year,” Crider stated. “We have about 30 on the team [this year] and about half of them are new.”
The goal for this year’s team is to get the newer students to do well and get a competitive edge. They need to realize that from the very beginning they are competing and can be some of the top finishers.
When preparing for competition, “I set up practices that are mutually agreed upon by the competitor(s) and myself,” Crider said. “Sometimes we have group practices on late start days. The upperclassmen, the officers come in and the others come into the room and they break into small groups to practice with each other.”
Improv is the favorite category. “It’s fun to just be silly and see how outrageous you can be with the given tag line,” Crider said. “Another popular category is prose because it’s not memorized and is simply a reading feeling.” Prose may have a gloomy or excited tone, so long as it is an emotional piece.
The training in acting that speech students receive teaches them poise and confidence, as well as how to present themselves in front of people.
“The hope is that you can tell someone has had speech training, that they present themselves well, that they have a presence among other people and their thoughts and opinions are heard because they know best how to express them,” Crider stated.