Speech team offers a spotlight

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Members learn confidence as speakers while competing in six categories locally and nationally.

By Bleah B. Patterson 


In the spring, this college’s speech team was ranked fifth among 76 teams at the National Speech Tournament.

This April, the speech team is anticipating the National Tournament in Denver, Colo.

Students interested in joining the speech team should make an appointment with speech coach Jolinda Ramsey.

“The speech department is looking for students with a willingness to be the center of attention, the desire to perform and confidence,” fine arts Chair Jeff Hunt said. Hunt was formerly coach of the speech team.

Any students of this college can join.

Students should come to an appointment prepared with a small audition piece, such as a speech, an essay, a poem or any monologue, Hunt said.

“Outside of that, she (Ramsey) will mold you into a really confident speaker,” he said.

The speech team participates in 11 events during the school year and each student is allowed to choose six categories to enter through the academic school year.

The categories are public speaking, an informative and formal style of speech; interpretive speaking, a dramatic style such as poetry or slam poetry; and improvisational speaking, a method where students are given prompts and must deliver an unprepared speech.

The speech team travels all over the state for competitions against both two- and four-year colleges.

The speech team will also participate in 12 competitions during the school year, 11 tournaments in preparation for the National Tournament.

“It is a huge time commitment,” Hunt said.  “Students should not join halfheartedly.”

“Jolinda makes an effort to meld her schedule with the students, so the rehearsals are rarely at a set time,” Hunt said. “She plans them week to week.”

The speech team will compete in a state tournament, a regionals tournament and nationals tournament in spring.

“Speech teams are great exercises and experience for anyone looking to be a lawyer, an actor, or even a journalist,” Hunt said. “You’re constantly writing and rewriting on very current, significant and controversial topics.”

Ramsey’s office is in Room 209 of McAllister Fine Arts Center. Her office telephone number is 210-486-0496


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