Speech team succeeds


Stressed out extroverts with big personalities frantically talking to walls, rehearsing over and over, and walking around in their best business attire.
This describes the typical speech meet, where students participate in a variety of events that showcase their talent for public speaking and the dramatic arts. The team, led by advisor Mrs. Bookless, has found success at their first few meets.
On December 9, at the Rochelle Meet, sophomore Ben Nack placed fourth in Novice Radio Speaking and sophomore Izzy Anderson placed sixth in Novice Impromptu Speaking. This was the first meet the two sophomores had ever competed in, and it made lasting impressions on them.
“I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it turned out to be a really fun experience that was unlike anything I’ve ever done before,” Anderson said.
It was also senior Sami Anderson’s first meet of her career. Returning from a year in Finland, Anderson decided she would try something new.
“I really enjoy speech. It’s an amazing art form that focuses on vocal expression. It’s a great way to inform, persuade, or entertain people,” Anderson said.
She wrote a Special Occasion speech that discussed her time in Finland, which showcased her unique perspective to the judges.
At the Byron Holiday Meet on December 13, Ben Nack received awards again, placing fifth in Novice Radio Speaking.
“Ben has such a spectacular radio voice, and he has tons of potential. He has had a promising start and continues to be a great team member,” Bookless said.
The Byron Meet was the first meet for sophomore Sophia Achett. She was very nervous and had no idea what the competition would entail.
“There were so many people running around,” Achett said. “I really had to overcome my anxiety and just perform the speech like I knew I could. It was a learning experience.”
Starting off the new year right, the speech team succeeded at the Lena-Winslow meet on January 6. Ben Nack placed yet again, taking home a third place medal in Novice Radio Speaking. Izzy Anderson placed fourth in Novice Impromptu Speaking.
The speech team will finish out the season with meets at River Ridge and Rockford. Additionally, IHSA Speech Regional Competition will be held in Freeport on February 3, and the IHSA Speech Sectional Competition will be the following Saturday in Huntley.