Showcasing Talent


The GHS speech team showed off their hard work and talent in their speech showcase on February 3. The team was competing and a very successful season and decided to bring it to the public. “This showcase was the last chance for students to go in front of an audience before the state series,” said coach Susan Bookless. “I loved watching friends and family see how hard these kids have worked this year.”


On February 3 the GHS speech team held their first speech showcase at the Galena Center for the Arts to show all of their hard work and talent to the community. Parents and peers were able to come and listen to the team’s speeches for the first time.
First to perform was Emma Blaum ‘24 who performed her Oratorical Declamation speech which was about fear of rejection and how to overcome it. For her speech, Blaum had to find an article written by someone and then perform it as if the was the person in the article.

“I thought it was a unique experience,” said Blaum. “Speech isn’t something you spectate, so being able to show everyone that work we put in and what we do was neat.”
The next performer was Julia Dominiak ‘25 who performed her Original Oratory speech about being a perfectionist and how it can affect you.

“Performing in front of a crowd was a great chance to grow as a speaker,” said Dominiak “It was nice to see everyone come in and enjoy our speeches.”

Up next was Lilliana Asta ‘26 who performed for the audience her Special Occasion speech. In Asta’s category, she wrote a speech that was focused on a certain occasion. In her speech the occasion was her talking to her classmates about joining the music program and all of the benefits that come along with it.
“Performing my speech in front of people I know was something I’d never done before,” said Asta. “At first I was nervous, but I got more comfortable as I went through my speech when the audience started laughing and reacting.”

Everett Nobel ‘26 spoke next with his Humorous Interpretation speech. In this speech, Nobel acted out a comedic children’s book. The interesting thing about his category was that he had to act out all the different characters in the book.

“I thought it was very cool to bring our speeches to the community,” said Nobel. “I’m hoping that it encourages more people to do speech in the future because it is really fun.”

Following Everett was Oliver Ortega ‘23 who performed his Dramatic Interpretation speech. Oretga’s speech was similar to Everett’s in the fact that he also had to act out all of the characters in a story, but his wasn’t funny and kindhearted like Everett’s. Ortega’s speech had a dark theme and was about a man in an insane asylum and his friend who comes to visit him.

“The two things that scare me the most when performing my speech are the students watching and the judge’s critiques,” said Ortega. “Getting to perform in front of a crowd of people I knew rather than judges was refreshing and their reactions made me feel more confident in my speech.”

Following the dark theme of Oliver’s speech was Maddie Wild ‘24 who performed her poetic speech. Her speech was a combination of emotional poems which told the story of a suicidal girl.

“I knew performing my speech in front of people was going to be difficult,” said Wild. “My speech is about suicide, so I was worried about how people would react. When competing people know and understand that my poem doesn’t reflect my true feelings about my life, but that line tends to blur when performing in front of my parents and community members. Even though I was nervous, my performance seemed to have a good reaction which made me feel better about the dark plot.”

Adison Leitzinger ‘25 was next to perform for the crowd with her Prose speech which is a form of poetry just with more rhythm and flow. Her speech continued on with the sad theme and told the story of a girl who lost her younger brother in a bike accident.

“I was really nervous at first,” said Leitzinger. “Performing in front of a crowd is not something I’m used to, but after a little while I got used to it and started to enjoy the feeling.”

Last but certainly not least were Charlie Duncan ‘24 and Oliver Ortega with their Humorous duet titled “Your Mothers Butt.” Given the name of the title the performance was comedic which could be seen by the smiling faces in the crowd.

“It was nice to see how everyone reacted according to the speeches,” said Duncan.” During actual speech meets a judge never comes up and says “your speech was really good.” The positivity really helped boost my confidence in my ability to perform.”