The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Speech team prepares for state tournament this weekend at NIU

Eastern’s speech team will be going to Northern Illinois University to compete against around 25 teams in the state speech tournament Friday and Saturday.

Sara Gronstal, from the communication studies department and the director of Forensics (Speech) Team, said Eastern’s speech team has been participating in other tournaments throughout the Midwest in preparation for the state tournament. If the team places in the final round at state, they will qualify for the national tournament in April.

“Each student competes in each event with two to three prelims with six people and five sections,” Gronstal said. “This gives the tournament about 30-60 competitors.”

Gronstal said the team has been preparing in a variety of ways. First, the students had to find material for their individual speeches.

“The students write speeches or find literature to perform (on their own),” she said. “They then go through weekly coaching sessions and edit and practice their speeches.”

Samantha Sauer, a senior history major said, the team members try to create quality speeches then practice the memorized timed deliveries of the speech.

Amanda Smith, a senior English major and a speech team member, has been practicing more to prepare for this weekend as well.

“I just try to perform my speeches as much as I can,” Smith said. “I’ve been giving speeches while in the shower, while I’m curling my hair, and while walking to class.”

The topics of the speeches differ in type, from persuasion to ‘after dinner’ speeches. After Dinner Speech is a speech about serious topic in society but given in a humorous tone. Another type of speech being performed is interpretation speeches.

“Interpretation speeches are kind of like acting,” Gronstal said.

Smith said her dramatic interpretation speech is inspired from “The Midwest Teen Sex Show.” The show is a podcast that provides information to children in an entertaining and effective way.

“I have prepared a programmed piece about how the federal government has spent close to a billion dollars on abstinence-only sex education, despite growing evidence that these programs are ineffective in preventing teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually-transmitted disease among teenagers,” she said.

Smith said she especially enjoys this speech because it is funny and unique.

“I get to make people laugh, and that’s what I enjoy doing most,” Smith said.?The team members will also participate in a limited preparation event at the tournament. Sauer said for this event, she is competing in the ‘impromptu’ category.

?”(Impromptu) is an event where speakers are given a quotation to analyze and prepare a speech within 30 seconds to about a minute and a half; the total time for the event is seven minutes,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed this event, because you get to see people think on their feet in creative ways.”

Sauer said although the tournament is very competitive and challenging, she is looking forward to it.

“It’ll be fun to see some of the best speakers nationally,” Sauer said. “It’s a chance to see old friends and contacts in the speech community and see a lot of talented people.”

Sara Hall can be reached

at 581-2812 or [email protected]

Speech team prepares for state tournament this weekend at NIU

Speech team prepares for state tournament this weekend at NIU

Sara Gronstal, Eastern Illinois University’s speech team coach, stands in front of the speech team trophy case. Two members from this year’s team are competing in the state competition at Northern Illinois University this weekend.(Katie Overby


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