Pre-season preparations

In preparation for their first tournament, the Cannon Falls Speech Team held a workshop to finalize speeches.



Speakers participate in group warmups during the workshop

On Saturday, January 21st, the Cannon Falls Speech team had their annual workshop.

Every year, the speech team members get together on Saturday to practice speech and have a mock round in preparation for their first tournament. For the first few hours, the students were able to work on their speech in order to ensure they had a piece that was ready to be performed. Later that day, the student performed for a small group of people for the first time. Then, the group of peers that had watched them told the speaker what they needed to work on before they compete for the first time. “I think workshop went very well. It’s the day that I get the most done for pre-season and it sets me up for our first tournament,” senior speech captain, Jessica Baszuro, explained.

All 13 speech categories spent the morning finalizing something they need to work on. The interp categories — Creative Expression, Drama, Duo, Humorous, Poetry, and Prose — finished cutting and writing an introduction for their piece. The public speaking categories — Great Speeches, Original Oratory, and Informative — worked on writing their first drafts. The draw categories — Storyingtelling, Extemporaneous Reading, and Extemporaneous Speaking — were supposed to work on their intros and prepare to draw. Discussion worked on gathering resources and evidence for their topics. A discussion speaker, Teagan Strecker, commented: “It went really well and I can’t wait to see what is to come.”

It went really well and I can’t wait to see what is to come

— Teagan Strecker

Lunch was at 11:30, where everyone was instructed to “leave no trace” — an ideology the speech team has to keep the spaces they use clean and virtually untouched. Afterward, the speech captains — Seniors Lauren Ritz, Tristin Qualey, Jessica Baszuro, and Junior Grace Miller — gave a lecture on speech etiquette and what is expected on tournament day. They explained what speakers should wear and what they shouldn’t wear. They explained what to expect at a competition and how to act professionally. They described what a tournament would look like: what “camp” is, where the rounds are posted, and how to prep by speaking to walls. Once the presentation was concluded, the team was split into groups and expected to perform their pieces in a mock round. Finally, after everyone performed, the team’s workshop day ended. 

The long Saturday prepared the Cannon Falls’s Speech team for their first competition at Cannon Falls Invitational that will occur two weeks later on February 4th.