Archive for the ‘Interpretation’ Category


Remember Speech?

March 16, 2009

That’s right, as our debate season winds to a close it is time to focus our energy and talent on speech competition.

There are 13 speech events offered at the Idaho District & State Speech Tournaments…something for everyone!
You are really encouraged to complete in an event in each pattern. See Speech Event Descriptions by Pattern
Then learn more about your individual events by looking at the Oral Interpretation, Limited Preparation, or Platform Speaking pages!

It’s Speech Time!

November 24, 2008

Be a craftsman in speech that thou mayest be strong, for the strength of one is the tongue, and speech is mightier than all fighting.


Maxims of Ptahhotep, 3400 B.C.



Time to focus our energy on our speech events!


Are you doing a platform speech (expository, original oratory, oratorical analysis, after dinner speaking, or salesmanship)?


What about an interpretation speech (humorous, dramatic, or duo)?


Whichever event you have selected, get to work making it the best speech possible! Use the resources in the pages to the right to find a topic, review event rules, check out outlines and descriptions, and make yourself a craftsman in the art of speech!


Summer Camps!

May 31, 2008

Hone your skills this summer and come back next season ready to rock!

Check out the Summer Camps Page!


Duo Interpretation

April 29, 2008

Two of my competitors at The College of Idaho in an award winning Duo Interpretation. Performers: Emilie McDonagh & Nick Schossow. Literature: Caroline or Change by Tony Kushner.


Tips for the First Speech Tournament

June 22, 2007

 Things to consider about your speech performance before competition!  



How much are you looking at the script instead of your audience?

Are each of your characters and/or pieces vocally distinct (inflection, rate, volume, tone)?

Are each of your characters and/or pieces physically distinct (focal points, gestures, posture, facial expressions)?

Is your introduction entirely memorized and polished?

What is your time? There is no excuse for going over-time at a tournament.




Are your visual aids and/or note cards complete and ready to go?

Are you extremely familiar with your speech so you can focus your eye contact on the audience?

Have you included a preview in your introduction and a review in your conclusion?

Do you have three distinct points and transitions?

Do you remember to “walk your points”?

Are your citations complete (Author or publication, date)?

Have you eliminated um and uh from your vocabulary?

What is your time? There is no excuse for going over-time at a tournament.


Limited Preparation: 


Impromptu: Have you completed an inventory of knowledge?

Extemp: Do you have updated news stories?

Are you using gestures to meaningfully emphasize your content?

Do you have three distinct points and transitions?

Do you remember to “walk your points”?

Are you incorporating various examples and/or sources to support your identified thesis?

Have you eliminated um and uh from your vocabulary?

How is your pacing, are you rushing at the end or leaving off a conclusion?

Do you bring your speech “full-circle”?


Character Analysis

June 13, 2007

The following are great questions to ask if you are performing an interpretive speech Theatre Masksor work of theatre.  Creating a “character biography” or thinking seriously about the person you are portraying is vital for a believable and meaningful performance!

  1. When does my character live?  Past, present or future?
  2.  Where does my character live?  In the country, the city, the suburbs…?
  3.  What is the socioeconomic background of my character?
  4.  Does my character work?  If so, at what?
  5.  What is a typical day for my character like?
  6.  Who lives with my character and what are their relationships?
  7.  Who else heavily influences my character?
  8.  Is my character very religious, political, or otherwise a member of some kind?
  9.  What is my character’s biggest life goal?
  10.  What is my character’s biggest goal within the play?
  11.  How does my character’s motivation change from the beginning of the play/cutting to the end?
  12.  What is the primary emotion my character has throughout this piece?
  13.  What other emotions are affecting my character underneath that emotion?
  14.  Does my character have mental or emotional difficulties, illnesses or tics?
  15.  What kind of self-esteem does my character have?
  16.  How does my character relate to the outside world?
  17.  What props or scenic elements does my character relate to within the play?
  18.  How do those props/scenic elements develop my character?
  19.  What emotion should the audience feel toward my character?  Sympathy, hate, friendly?
  20.  In the beginning of the play, what do we discover about my character?
  21.  In the middle of the play, how does my character grow and change?
  22.  At the end of the play, what will happen to my character?
  23.  What information about my character has been cut out of the piece for IE performance?
  24.  How can I add the elements of that information in my performance?
  25.  How important is my character to the action of the play as a whole?
  26.  When does my character help the plot along and how?
  27.  What is the most important element to my character: family, love, or career?
  28.  How old is my character?  What major historical events have they lived through?
  29.  Does my character have children?  How does (s)he feel about them?
  30.  Is my character manipulating or being manipulated by anyone?
  31.  Does my character have a hidden agenda or a deep secret?
  32.  Who are they hiding this from?  Another character?  The audience?
  33.  How strong are my character’s emotions in this piece?  Pure hatred?  Mild lust?
  34.  What is my character’s greatest fear?
  35.  What is my character’s greatest accomplishment?
  36.  What is my character’s motivation in each unit of the piece?  Does it coincide with or conflict with other character’s motivations in those units?
  37.  Does my character have their wants achieved at the end of the play?
  38.  If not, will my character ever have those wants achieved?
  39.  What person or fictional character does my character most remind me of?
  40.  If I met my character, how would I react to them?
  41.  Develop a list of items that your character would carry in their pockets, purse or briefcase. What do those items tell you about this person? 
  42. If you could determine a theme song for your character, what would it be? 


June 11, 2007

Check out the pages to the right to learn more about me and the many aspects of speech and debate, including: Oral Interpretation, Limited Preparation Speaking, Platform Speaking, Parliamentary Debate, and more!