Congratulations! You have written and memorized an excellent speech. You may have even garnered a couple of checkmarks. Now it is time to take your speech to the next level and refine it for even greater competition. The Speech Committee has some tips to help you get to work on this, whether you are competing with an Interp, a Platform, a Limited Prep event, or possibly all three.

Interpretive Events

  • Add detailed blocking to make the “theater of the mind” more realistic. Study how you do mundane things in real life so you can block those movements accurately, i.e., how do you really hold a phone? Probably not the way you usually see it portrayed in an interp.
  • Work on your transitions. Transitions are tricky. They can easily be too much (adding distracting movements and noises) or too little, leaving the judge unsure of what is happening in the storyline.
  • Get to know your character(s) inside and out to accurately and believably portray them.

Platform Events

  • Block your Platform. Really! Put movements into your Platform that enhance what you are saying rather than detract from it. Rehearse often so that your movements become natural and unstaged.
  • Integrate pauses at points where you want a point emphasized. These pauses can make an ordinary speech extraordinary.
  • Is your topic interesting? Why should your audience care about what you are saying? Don’t leave out the impact.

Limited Prep Events

  • Cultivate a winsome way of speaking. The goal is to communicate rather than pontificate.
  • Come into the room with three generic points in mind, like literature, history, and life lessons, or family, friends, and faith. This tip will take away some of the stress of prep time.
  • Make sure you accurately address the question in your speech, as it will increase your credibility.
  • Impact the relevance of the question. Why should it matter to the judge?

Your first step is connecting with a local Stoa club. We can help.

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