By Gabriella Zuardo '20
If you are looking for a club to join that will grab your number one college’s attention, I insist you should consider the speech team. This team is filled with great people that will guide you through your experience. The speech club isn’t any normal club where you each have individual goals for a group project. This club is a true team where everybody has a job; however, you are constantly working together. Your goal for being on the speech team is to learn a speech and later present it in a college in front of judges. When you are given a speech, you have to act as if that speech is your best friend. You learn everything about that speech, meaning you have to memorize it word for word. Then, you are responsible for going to colleges and presenting your speech in front of members of other speech teams, as well as judges. This club is all based on competitions and your determination to achieve your best.
Types of speeches you can do:
There are options for speeches; however, if you are unsure, keep in mind that the coordinators like to recommend which speech works best for you.
The types of speeches include:
There are a plethora of benefits you can gain from this experience. The most important benefit you can gain is the experience and practice of memorizing and presenting in front of an audience. Public speaking is a tremendous importance to colleges. With public speaking, the colleges see that you are putting yourself in a position not everybody is comfortable with. They know that this is challenging and the fact that you are able to do this is truly remarkable and impressive. Also, you gain a family and a bond that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Being a part of the speech team can be compared to a sports team, in a sense that competition is routine; however, instead of running, you are talking, and during this time you are showing off your confidence, intelligence, and strength. Being on the speech team also provides the benefit of teamwork. As I said before, being on the speech team includes being a part of a family with a strong relationship. When you are practicing your speech and you need advice or guidance, everyone is willing to help because they as well have their own obstacles they need to achieve. Besides your teammates, there are coaches such as Ms. Marinello and Mr. Herron that help in your performance. They tell you what you need to do and provide tips, assisting you in your experience.
How the team is doing:
Last year, one of the many successes was sophomore Larissa Mignano, who took 7th in Louisville Kentucky with over 230 competitors in her category. Also last year, Larissa placed 5th at Hofstra University at the state championship. The speech team competes in local tournaments in order to gain qualification to attend state championships, NCFL (National Catholic Forensic League) nationals and other major and highly competitive competitions. Some of the local competitions that have occurred this year include UPenn, St. Joseph University, and Columbia University. At UPenn, Larissa Mignano took 3rd in Declamation and Junior Alexa Vasquez and Senior Kirsa Danis took 3rd place in Duo. At the villager tournament at St. Joseph University, Larissa Mignano took 6th place. At Columbia University, freshman Brynn Nelson took 6th place in declamation and Larissa took 3rd place in declamation.
The speech team is hoping to go to tournaments at Yale University, Harvard University, Princeton University, and in Washington D.C. They have many successful freshmen, two amazing coaches who support them and drive them to be the best they can achieve, and the team admires both of these coaches greatly.
“Speech is probably the best decision I have ever made. It is a place where I have experienced so many amazing campuses, met so many amazing people, improved my public speaking abilities drastically, and helped me with my social anxiety. They are my second family,” says Larissa Mignano, year of 2020.