SPEECH MEET

For the third year, Augustine Classical Academy will participate in the Rocky Mountain Classical Christian Schools Speech Meet. This is an opportunity for our upper school students to practice and hone their public speaking skills, a defining element of the Rhetoric Stage and an essential component of the well-trained mind. Grammar- and Logic-Stage students will also participate, practicing memorization skills and setting the stage for ease and facility of communication.

ACA will host an in-house speech competition on Thursday, February 21st. This is a key opportunity for both practice and performance. The Rocky Mountain Classical Christian Schools Speech Meet will take place at Arma Dei Academy on Thursday, March 14.

Please take a look at the important speech meet guidelines and information below.

CATEGORIES

Dramatic Interpretation
The student begins the presentation by announcing the title, then the author or source of the story Bible, etc.). This category is for the dramatic presentation of a story in the form of a speech or an interpretation. Students should seek to make each character in the story distinguishable from any other character through voice, facial expression, gestures and body language where applicable. When used, gestures and body movements should be for emphasis, not to draw “word pictures.” The presentation should be preceded by a short introduction providing context of the selection for students in 5th-12th grade only.

Bible Memory
The student begins with a brief introduction that includes stating the Scripture reference. The student will then recite the Scripture. Facial and vocal expressions and good speech techniques should be evident. Gestures may be used for emphasis, not to draw “word pictures” with the hands. Scripture passages must come from one of the following Bible versions: King James Version (KJV), New American Bible (NAB), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), New King James Version (NKJV), or English Standard Version (ESV). The presentation should be preceded by a short introduction providing context of the selection for students in 5th-12th grade only.

Poetry
The student begins the presentation by announcing the title and author. Students should make the poem come alive through facial and vocal expressions. Gestures may be appropriate to enhance the presentation but are not required. When used, gestures should be for emphasis, not to draw “word pictures” with the hands. The face, voice, and body language should tell the story. The presentation should be preceded by a short introduction providing context of the selection for students in 5th-12th grade only.

Patriotic Recitation
This category is for patriotic material written by or presented by famous persons. All presentations must begin with the person and title of speech where applicable. Facial and vocal expressions and good speech techniques should be evident, as well as an obvious patriotic spirit arising from the presentation. Gestures and appropriate body movements are encouraged for a patriotic speech. The presentation should be preceded by a short introduction providing context of the selection for students in 5th-12th grade only.

LENGTH

The length requirements below are provided to establish an approximate length. Some selections may have very short lines and therefore more would be appropriate. These judgment calls will be made by the teacher on a case by case basis. Judges have the ability to deduct points if they feel the speech does not meet the approximate length standards.

STANDARDS FOR LENGTH OF SPEECH

6th Grade

  • Poetry: 30-40 lines

  • Bible: 16-22 verses

7th Grade

  • Poetry: 35-45 lines

  • Bible: 18-24 verses

8th Grade

  • Poetry: 40-50 lines

  • Bible: 20-26 verses

9th-12th Grades

  • Poetry: 45-55 lines

  • Bible 22-28 verses

All grades for Other speech selections: Use the guidelines provided for Poetry and Bible in selecting an appropriate length piece for patriotic recitation or dramatic interpretation.

1st Grade

  • Poetry: 10-20 lines

  • Bible: 5-10 verses

2nd Grade

  • Poetry: 15-25 lines

  • Bible: 8-15 verses

3rd Grade

  • Poetry: 15-25 lines

  • Bible: 10-15 verses

4th Grade

  • Poetry: 20-30 lines

  • Bible: 12-18 verses

5th Grade

  • Poetry: 25-35 lines

  • Bible: 14-20 verses

HELPFUL SPEECH TECHNIQUES FOR STUDENT PARTICIPANTS

1. Practice your selection every day at home for your parents. Do your very best each time.

2. Stand up tall, with your hands comfortably at your sides in a relaxed posture. Look at your entire audience. Say the required introduction and then pause briefly before you begin the selection. At the end of the selection, hold your last motion or feeling for a few seconds. Then go back to your beginning position as you smile at your audience. Wait a few seconds before returning to your assigned seat.

3. Say your selection with appropriate expression or feeling. If your selection is a happy or sad one, be sure to show that feeling with your facial expressions and your voice. Other feelings that might go with your selection include fear, anger, wonder, worry, surprise or pride. Be sure your facial expression matches the feeling that you are trying to show. Have a friend, parent, or a teacher watch and listen to you and tell you whether you are emphasizing the correct feelings with your voice and your facial expression. Practicing in front of a mirror or having someone take a video of you may also be helpful.

4. The use of gestures will enhance your presentation if they are natural for your selection. Any gestures you use should add to your selection, making it more interesting, more believable, and more enjoyable for you and for your audience. Learn a few natural gestures right away, and practice saying your selection with them every time. Avoid stiff or unnatural gestures.

5. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly. Stop after each thought so that your audience can hear both the words and the thoughts you are expressing. Be careful to enunciate your words or to say every sound (beginning, middle, and ending) of every word in your selection. Using a voice recording device is a tremendous help in learning and practicing your selection. Since you will not be using a microphone, you need to make sure you are able to project your voice for an audience. You may want to practice in a large room and speak loud enough so that others can hear every word from across the room.

6. Since you have memorized and learned your selection, you should show confidence as you speak. Enjoy the experience of sharing what you have learned with the judges.

EXPLANATION OF JUDGES’ SCORE SHEET

Speeches are judged on 8 separate qualities with a maximum of 5 points given for each characteristic. In scoring, it may be helpful to consider the descriptions below for each score: 1) Beginning, 2) Developing, 3) Satisfactory, 4) Maturing, 5) Strong

Judges should start with the assumption that a student begins his or presentation with a 3 or Satisfactory on each judging categories. As the speech proceeds, the judge will score each category higher or lower based on the performance.

In general, the following descriptions apply to each ranking:

BEGINNING

  • May require some prompting

  • Little to no eye contact—looks down or stares straight ahead

  • May be difficult to understand or hear the presentation

  • Little or no emphasis of words, expression, or punctuation

  • Does not demonstrate an appreciation for or understanding of the selection

DEVELOPING

  • Requires little prompting

  • Little eye contact—may look at the judges, but not the audience

  • May sound detached or monotone with little emphasis or variation; may appear stiff

  • May not demonstrate an appreciation for or understanding of the selection

SATISFACTORY

  • No prompting required; the selection has been memorized

  • Speech is clear and understandable

  • Maintains eye contact with judges and audience

  • Some variety of emphasis and voice inflection observed; may or may not use gestures for emphasis.

MATURING

  • Clearly knows and demonstrates understanding of the piece

  • Maintains good eye contact with the judges and audience

  • Presentation flows well with natural emphasis and variety of voice inflection

  • Speaker is comfortable and natural; gestures are natural and not forced.

STRONG

  • Excellent memory and delivery of the selection

    Excellent eye contact with judges and audience

    Speaker fully embraces the meaning and spirit of the selection

    Voice, body stance, gestures demonstrate the speaker “owns” the selection

A maximum of 40 points can be earned on the scoring sheet. However, points are deducted for failure to follow all directions regarding introductions and/or explanations. Please read the scoring sheet carefully to be sure that deductions are made correctly. A maximum of 2 or 5 points may be deducted, depending on the category.