Getting to know Speech Team

Sarah Al-Jawhar, asst. features editor

Whether it is sharing snacks or giving each other advice about their speeches, junior Gianna Barash knows her fellow Speech Team members are always there to support her and everyone else on the team. After being on South’s Speech Team for about two months, Barash has been able to not only improve her skills as a competitor, but also connect and bond with others. 

From September to February, Speech Team participates in multiple tournaments, junior Anya Azara, Speech Team Co-Captain, said. As part of their preparation for tournaments, the speech team attends coaching sessions once a week, Azara said. At these sessions, each of the members pick a topic, organize and cut down their speeches, and practice. 

“As the season goes on, [we become] more confident with [our] pieces, especially because [we] work on them every single week,” Azara said. 

Members decide the topic of the speech and work on them continuously throughout the season, Head Coach Nancy Stickels said. The speeches can be about any genre or topic, all depending on one’s interests. Members are encouraged to choose a subject that they are passionate about and can connect to, Stickels added. To help, coaches present different options that they believe would interest the member, allowing them to explore and choose a genre of speech that fits their interests, Barash explained.

“My first one is a duet and it’s about a mother and a daughter whose son just passed away, so the mother is trying to help her mourn her son,” Barash elaborated. 

 Throughout the season, coaches help each of the members arrange their specific pieces and memorize them so that they are ready for the tournament, Stickels added.

“[It is] a big commitment, but I think [the students] get a lot out of it,” Stickels said. “We see them grow from the beginning to the end, so it’s pretty cool.”

Despite being very competitive in nature, Speech Team has been a very supportive and encouraging community, Barash described. 

“Speech Team is so tight knit,” Barash said. “You make so many new friends and it’s such a sweet little family that we have.”