Speech team performs for triumph

Speech team performs for triumph

Marley Hambourger

Performing his skit in the speech showcase, Aiden Demsky’s character reprimands his friend for wanting to date his girlfriend. The speech team competes in an array of events with both comedic and dramatic elements.

JOHN PARK, Staff Reporter

A speaker approaches the center of the stage where three judges will closely examine the speaker’s every word and motion. The speaker is addressing an audience whose eager eyes would trigger an overwhelming sense of stage fright for the average person. But this speaker, along with the rest of the GBS Speech Team, delivers speeches in these conditions at weekly tournaments.

Speech Team is an IHSA sponsored activity with 14 different events for students to compete in, according to head coach Afrodite Skaouris. Tournaments take place every Saturday, and speakers revise and rehearse their script every week in order to impress the judges.

“[The judges] always look for presence, charisma, projection, speaking ability and charm,” Skaouris said.

According to Skaouris, last year’s team consisted of only nine returning members and 30 new members. Therefore, this year’s team has more experienced members. Two of these members are juniors Becky Pavchinskiy and Maya Patel, who have placed multiple times in their event: Humorous Duet Acting.

“It’s the greatest feeling when you’re in a full room in the final round, and everyone is laughing at how funny your script is,” Patel said. “The atmosphere makes me feel so accomplished.”

Pavchinskiy and Patel accredit their success to their coach, Mark Maranto, who went to state while he was in high school, according to Patel.

“He has helped us so much,” Pavchinskiy said. “The way that he has interpreted the script and has been able to make it absolutely hilarious is really the main reason that we’re doing so well.”

Pavchinskiy says that diction and line interpretation are the important aspects of speech that they have been working on.

“Speaking clearly and loudly is always difficult,” Pavchinskiy said. “But also, … the way that you do hand gestures or the way that you look at your partner can determine who gets first and who gets second.”

Several other members have improved through experience. One member in particular who found success in Speech Team through four years of experience is team captain Riaz Gillani, according to Skaouris.

“Ever since I was a kid, I loved being in front of people,” Gillani said. “I loved public speaking.”

Gillani is also involved in theatre and radio, but in Speech Team, he finds a special luxury in the fact that people want to listen to what he says. This assurance, and his fondness for public speaking, helped him make it to state last season, according to Gillani. However, Skaouris also gives credit to his initiative.

“[Gillani] doesn’t only have natural talent and charisma, but he works really really hard,” Skaouris said. “He’s always the one who goes the extra mile. From when he was young, he would always sit in on others’ coaching sessions so he could learn and absorb all that information.”

On the other hand, Skaouris says that Speech Team also attracts introverts who want to become better speakers. One such member is junior Luana Dumitrache.

“My greatest struggle has been being confident in my speech and kind of getting out of my skin when asked to perform it and not over-analyze every single thing that I do,” Dumitrache said.

A speaker approaches the center of the stage where three judges will closely examine the speaker’s every word and motion. The speaker is addressing an audience whose eager eyes would trigger an overwhelming sense of stage fright for the average person. But this speaker, along with the rest of the GBS Speech Team, delivers speeches in these conditions at weekly tournaments.

Speech Team is an IHSA sponsored activity with 14 different events for students to compete in, according to head coach Afrodite Skaouris. Tournaments take place every Saturday, and speakers revise and rehearse their script every week in order to impress the judges.

“[The judges] always look for presence, charisma, projection, speaking ability and charm,” Skaouris said.

According to Skaouris, last year’s team consisted of only nine returning members and 30 new members. Therefore, this year’s team has more experienced members. Two of these members are juniors Becky Pavchinskiy and Maya Patel, who have placed multiple times in their event: Humorous Duet Acting.

“It’s the greatest feeling when you’re in a full room in the final round, and everyone is laughing at how funny your script is,” Patel said. “The atmosphere makes me feel so accomplished.”

Pavchinskiy and Patel accredit their success to their coach, Mark Maranto, who went to state while he was in high school, according to Patel.

“He has helped us so much,” Pavchinskiy said. “The way that he has interpreted the script and has been able to make it absolutely hilarious is really the main reason that we’re doing so well.”

Pavchinskiy says that diction and line interpretation are the important aspects of speech that they have been working on.

“Speaking clearly and loudly is always difficult,” Pavchinskiy said. “But also, … the way that you do hand gestures or the way that you look at your partner can determine who gets first and who gets second.”

Several other members have improved through experience. One member in particular who found success in Speech Team through four years of experience is team captain Riaz Gillani, according to Skaouris.

“Ever since I was a kid, I loved being in front of people,” Gillani said. “I loved public speaking.”

Gillani is also involved in theatre and radio, but in Speech Team, he finds a special luxury in the fact that people want to listen to what he says. This assurance, and his fondness for public speaking, helped him make it to state last season, according to Gillani. However, Skaouris also gives credit to his initiative.

“[Gillani] doesn’t only have natural talent and charisma, but he works really really hard,” Skaouris said. “He’s always the one who goes the extra mile. From when he was young, he would always sit in on others’ coaching sessions so he could learn and absorb all that information.”

On the other hand, Skaouris says that Speech Team also attracts introverts who want to become better speakers. One such member is junior Luana Dumitrache.

“My greatest struggle has been being confident in my speech and kind of getting out of my skin when asked to perform it and not over-analyze every single thing that I do,” Dumitrache said.

According to Dumitrache, her coach, Leslie Jacobs, has helped her gain more confidence throughout her three years on Speech Team. She also believes that she has grown as a speaker through speaking about topics that she could connect to personally.

“Last year I did a speech about Only Child Syndrome,” Dumitrache said. “I defined it for the audience and talked about what it was. I was passionate about it, because I’m an only child as well, so as I was researching about it, I found out a lot of stuff for myself.”

Currently, the team is preparing for the state series. The first stage, Regionals, are on Feb. 7, according to Skaouris. Looking ahead to next season, Skaouris encourages students to try and learn more about Speech Team because it might be something that they will enjoy, as Pavchinskiy found out last year.

“I thought it would be a really good idea to see how I’d fit into a world where people speak for fun,” Pavchinskiy said. “So I tried it out last year, and I loved it. It’s a great community.”A speaker approaches the center of the stage where three judges will closely examine the speaker’s every word and motion. The speaker is addressing an audience whose eager eyes would trigger an overwhelming sense of stage fright for the average person. But this speaker, along with the rest of the GBS Speech Team, delivers speeches in these conditions at weekly tournaments.

Speech Team is an IHSA sponsored activity with 14 different events for students to compete in, according to head coach Afrodite Skaouris. Tournaments take place every Saturday, and speakers revise and rehearse their script every week in order to impress the judges.

“[The judges] always look for presence, charisma, projection, speaking ability and charm,” Skaouris said.

According to Skaouris, last year’s team consisted of only nine returning members and 30 new members. Therefore, this year’s team has more experienced members. Two of these members are juniors Becky Pavchinskiy and Maya Patel, who have placed multiple times in their event: Humorous Duet Acting.

“It’s the greatest feeling when you’re in a full room in the final round, and everyone is laughing at how funny your script is,” Patel said. “The atmosphere makes me feel so accomplished.”

Pavchinskiy and Patel accredit their success to their coach, Mark Maranto, who went to state while he was in high school, according to Patel.

“He has helped us so much,” Pavchinskiy said. “The way that he has interpreted the script and has been able to make it absolutely hilarious is really the main reason that we’re doing so well.”

Pavchinskiy says that diction and line interpretation are the important aspects of speech that they have been working on.

“Speaking clearly and loudly is always difficult,” Pavchinskiy said. “But also, … the way that you do hand gestures or the way that you look at your partner can determine who gets first and who gets second.”

Several other members have improved through experience. One member in particular who found success in Speech Team through four years of experience is team captain Riaz Gillani, according to Skaouris.

“Ever since I was a kid, I loved being in front of people,” Gillani said. “I loved public speaking.”

Gillani is also involved in theatre and radio, but in Speech Team, he finds a special luxury in the fact that people want to listen to what he says. This assurance, and his fondness for public speaking, helped him make it to state last season, according to Gillani. However, Skaouris also gives credit to his initiative.

“[Gillani] doesn’t only have natural talent and charisma, but he works really really hard,” Skaouris said. “He’s always the one who goes the extra mile. From when he was young, he would always sit in on others’ coaching sessions so he could learn and absorb all that information.”

On the other hand, Skaouris says that Speech Team also attracts introverts who want to become better speakers. One such member is junior Luana Dumitrache.

“My greatest struggle has been being confident in my speech and kind of getting out of my skin when asked to perform it and not over-analyze every single thing that I do,” Dumitrache said.

According to Dumitrache, her coach, Leslie Jacobs, has helped her gain more confidence throughout her three years on Speech Team. She also believes that she has grown as a speaker through speaking about topics that she could connect to personally.

“Last year I did a speech about Only Child Syndrome,” Dumitrache said. “I defined it for the audience and talked about what it was. I was passionate about it, because I’m an only child as well, so as I was researching about it, I found out a lot of stuff for myself.”

Currently, the team is preparing for the state series. The first stage, Regionals, are on Feb. 7, according to Skaouris. Looking ahead to next season, Skaouris encourages students to try and learn more about Speech Team because it might be something that they will enjoy, as Pavchinskiy found out last year.

“I thought it would be a really good idea to see how I’d fit into a world where people speak for fun,” Pavchinskiy said. “So I tried it out last year, and I loved it. It’s a great community.”

“Last year I did a speech about Only Child Syndrome,” Dumitrache said. “I defined it for the audience and talked about what it was. I was passionate about it, because I’m an only child as well, so as I was researching about it, I found out a lot of stuff for myself.”

Currently, the team is preparing for the state series. The first stage, Regionals, are on Feb. 7, according to Skaouris. Looking ahead to next season, Skaouris encourages students to try and learn more about Speech Team because it might be something that they will enjoy, as Pavchinskiy found out last year.

“I thought it would be a really good idea to see how I’d fit into a world where people speak for fun,” Pavchinskiy said. “So I tried it out last year, and I loved it. It’s a great community.”