GHS speech team looking towards the positive side

Every club this year has been under the assumption that their team won’t be having a season due to COVID-19, but the speech team is not one of those teams. The team is looking different, and will be online, but it gives students a push of encouragement to have something to look forward to. 

For tournaments in previous years, students would travel to different schools and perform to compete. “Tournaments will work asynchronously, which means that students will pre-record their videos, and we will upload them to a program, and then judges will access them, and rank them,” said Mrs. Bookless, head speech coach. “It’s possible there will be a final round on Saturday that might be live, but it might also be using the same video, and then there might be, depending on the tournament, a live awards ceremony on Saturdays.” 

 Bookless has helped the students with this team for a couple years now and tells people how students will still have the opportunity to work on their speech tactics, under completely different conditions, but they are still able to compete with other schools. 

“I joined the speech team because it was a new thing to try and experiment with, and it would help me work on my public speaking too,” said Katie Weide ‘23. “I personally think that the speech team this year is looking pretty good due to the fact of how everything is organized. All of our meets this year are online too, so we won’t have to worry about any cancellations getting in the way like other teams might have to go through.” Weide looks on the bright side of the online meets and explains that they will not have to go through rain-checks or snow days with the speech team, because they are online.

“There’s a two day tournament in Chicago, and it is the most competitive tournament outside of the state’s series, but to go you have to get a hotel room, since our speech team doesn’t have that kind of budget, we’ve never been able to go,” said Bookless. “But this year we can go online and receive that awesome experience.” This is yet another upside to being online this year for speech. The team has not been able to go to this Chicago tournament in the past, but can now take part in the event.

Team members are returning, and they are looking forward to the season, “I extremely enjoyed the speech team last year, and I think it is gonna be a lot different since we are doing it online, but I know it will be just as fun though!” says Andres Sanchez ‘21. 

Students this year will have to imagine their audience when they are recording themselves. There are many things that impact the way that students perform, like the audience’s eye-contact, their feedback, their non-verbal communication, and the feeling in the room. That energy won’t be there to motivate students and help their public speaking, but they are really fortunate to have the opportunity to even be able to participate in speech this year because there are many other teams that cannot go on with their sport due to the circumstances but they have that privilege and they are going to use it really well.