The student news website of Omaha Central High School

New speech team to begin at Central

November 15, 2017

This year, Central is once again having a competition speech team. While there has previously been a speech team at Central, this is the first year of the speech team being back. Molly Mahannah, a new English teacher, decided to sponsor the team, and is the person who is making the team. Mahannah said, “I was sad that Central did not have a speech team, and it was something I participated in during high school which really gave me a lot of confidence in speaking.”

Mahannah is new to Central this year, however she has been participating in speech events since she was in high school. Not only did Mahannah compete in speech during high school herself, but she also acted as a judge in speech competitions for many years. Using her experiences with the program, she truly believes in the benefits of competing in speech.

Mahannah said, “The confidence I gained from speech has helped me later in life with job interviews, and also in becoming a teacher because that is a lot of public speaking.”

Speech team will compete at one or two competitions this year, however Mahannah believes the team will compete more regularly next year. The members of the team have nine different options they can chose to compete in. Some of the options are speech and debate based, where as some of the competitions are more drama based.

The more speech based events, persuasive, entertainment, informative and extemporaneous are all based around writing and delivering speeches. In the persuasive, entertainment, and informative events, students write their speeches before the competition, and work to memorize and make their speech better. In the extemporaneous event, students are given a topic at the competition and have a certain amount of time to write their speech.

In comparison, the more drama based events, oral interpretation of drama, duet acting, serious prose, humorous prose and poetry requires the participants to do less writing. In oral interpretation of drama and duet acting participants work in groups to perform a prewritten work and act out a scene. In serious and humorous prose, competitors chose an already published piece and work to perfect their performance of the piece. Finally, in poetry participants use multiple published poems to portray a message that all of the poems entail.

Mahannah believes that everyone can find a speech event that best suits them. Whether they want to write the speech they present or present a prewritten and published speech, competition speech team has an event for them. There are no requirements to join speech team, and Mahannah recommends that anyone interested in joining attend the kick-off meeting to learn more and deicide what events they want to do. She also recommends that those thinking of competing to attend a competition to learn more about the speech competitions and events they may be interested in. There will be more information about the introductory meeting and other meetings on the morning announcements.

Mahannah said, “People should join speech team because public speaking is a really important skill to have. It is a fun way to do something that you may enjoy with people that are like minded and have similar interests.”

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