Speech Camp Assignments


Interpretive Speech

For Track 1 interpers (those who have competed for two years or less), please come to camp ready to learn about the different types of speeches and ready to learn the process of personally writing or choosing, cutting, blocking and bringing a script to life. I would like for each of you to bring one or two children’s books that you enjoy. There is a book list below to help you IF you aren’t sure where to start. You have no written assignments to prepare before camp. IF you have a laptop you can bring to camp, that will be beneficial but isn’t a necessity.

For Track 2 interpers who are planning to compete at IF’s early tournament October 6th - 8th, Prologue, please do your best to come to camp with either a “rough” rough draft OR a book in hand. IF you are one of the students who have been working this summer on your Interp, that is great. Bring what you have. For those of you who have not, no worries at all! That is the majority of you. You are NOT behind. You are in good company with a supportive coach and other encouraging competitors who are in the same boat. Likewise, IF you are writing your own Interp, that is amazing! Try to complete as much as you can before camp so that we can breathe life into it at camp. Don’t forget to look at your event’s rules and ballots to help you as you write your speeches. Speech Camp will be a place where you will have the opportunity to move to the next level with your interp, whichever individual event it is.

It is my desire that ALL students will be working on an interp in camp. IF you have no earthly idea what you could/should work on, we will have a few scripts at camp for students to use. The provided scripts are to give you something to hoan in on the skills being taught in camp. However, these are not meant to take the place of something that you pick out that fits you and your style. IF you do plan to compete in Interps this school year, it would be very beneficial to you to at least bring the book and/or printed digital copy. You will get a HUGE jump on the year IF you already have it at camp.

Things to consider:
1. Physical book – good.
2. Physical book and printed digital copy – better.
3. Physical book and printed digital copy and computer! – BEST!

We can help you cut your individual piece and provide valuable instruction so that you will leave camp with a script in hand, roughly blocked, and characters formed. IF you are a student who has competed in Interps before and you already know which pieces you would like to work on, feel free to go ahead and start cutting your pieces at home so that you can start getting feedback on blocking at camp.

BOOK LIST: This is a link to a helpful book list! Please note, this is only to help you IF you are searching for something. IF you find something else, by all means, use it.


Platform Speech

Track 2 Only (No assignments for Track 1)

Platform Assignment #1: Pick Your Topic! ...or two or three!
Someone once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” What’s your first step in this process? Picking a topic for your platform speech! This can be one of the most difficult steps, but I assure you that topics are ALL AROUND!
When selecting a topic, search in the following two ways:

Search Externally: What is going on in the news that you find interesting? What do you hear in church that sparks your interest? What are you reading about in your favorite magazine? Look at the world around you and choose a topic you find fascinating.

Search Internally: What is one of your happiest moments? What about your saddest moment? What makes you really angry? What lesson has God taught you over the last year? Take a few moments to think and write down the answers to these questions because, inside your answers, lies a great platform speech.

Remember, your platform speech needs to be interesting and applicable to you–but it also should speak to your audience. Great platform speeches lie at the intersection of your own interests & passions and the audiences' interest.

And consider what Jesus called the two greatest commandments: love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength AND love your neighbor as yourself. Think about how you can apply this to your speech topic.

Choose at least one topic (but preferably two). You will need them for the next two assignments that will be coming soon. If you have spent the last several days brainstorming speech topics, then you are ready to move on to the next part of the assignment! When you arrive at camp, we will be going over these assignments, so make sure they are complete.

Assignment #2: Write a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a SHORT, one-sentence statement telling the audience what your speech is about. Aim for ten words or less and make sure it is debatable. Killer thesis statements are eloquent and intriguing. They make your audience want to sit up and listen!

Remember, thesis statements are DEBATABLE! Your entire speech should be a defense of your thesis statement.

Lastly, strong thesis statements are NARROW enough to defend in your 10 minute speech. Don’t tackle something so grand, like "World Peace" that you will need 3 weeks to defend it.

You can read more about writing thesis statements here.

Assignment #3: Research & Outline Your Speech
Spend time researching your speech topic. Good speakers know much more about their topic than they can actually fit into ten minutes so you should dedicate a reasonable amount of time to this endeavor.

Using your research, choose three sub-points that support your thesis. (Two or four are okay too.) Then, write a skeleton outline of your speech.

Remember, everything that goes into your speech should support your thesis! Your sub-points are simply arguments that defend your thesis statement.

If you need help getting started, you can use this Outline How-To Guide and Blank Outline. You can keep it basic—no need to fill in every blank. We are aiming for three sub-points, nothing more right now.

If you have two speech topics and lots of energy, please repeat this process with the second topic. I promise, you will be glad you put in the extra work!

If you need assistance with any of these steps, or if you would like me to comment on your topic, thesis statement, or outline, drop me a note at dixonteam@gmail.com. Don’t hesitate, I’m here to help!


Limited Prep Speech

Track 1 & 2
Please bring an object or picture that reminds you of a story (1-2 min) from your life that you feel comfortable sharing. Think of the kind of story you might tell friends over coffee. Whatever object or picture you choose ought to fit into your regular backpack–we are not storing your kayak in the hallway! If possible, please bring a computer along with you as it might prove useful.