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Freshman Speeches: Resources

A speaking and research guide for the annual 9th grade Speech Contest

Topic-Specific Tips

Resourcefulness topic - because this topic is this year's school theme, there are many avenues you could take for researching and approaching this topic. One resource you've already used is the All-School Read from this past summer, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. Doing keyword searches in the library databases might also help find more recent examples of resourcefulness in different industries or periods of national or global history. Beware of writing a speech that discusses resourcefulness without taking a stance on what you feel is necessary for resourcefulness, so that you can be sure to be practical and informative.

Inclusivity topic - this is the most general topic that risks lapsing into vague ideas. This could also potentially be the most personally-focused topic: what do you think makes for an inclusive community? Are there times in your life when you've felt consistently excluded from a group or institution because of a characteristic or association? There is also a myriad of theories, studies, and commentaries dedicated to answering this question from many different angles, so be sure to start or end your research with clear goals in mind.

Best of the 2010s topic - use this topic to allow you to talk about an area, person, or event of interest. Take a position clearly and defend it so that your audience is clear why you think your chosen sub-topic is monumental compared to other issues or decades.

2018 Freshman Speech Finals

2017 Freshman Speech Finals

2016 Freshman Speech Finals

2015 Freshman Speech Finals

2014 Freshman Speech Finals

2013 Freshman Speech Finals

2012 Freshman Speech Finals

2011 Freshman Speech Finals

Online Resources for Researching Your Speeches

In-Library Resources for Researching Your Speeches

Advanced Tips for Organizing and Practicing Your Speech

1. Outline, outline, outline - use Noodletools (see the tab above) to sort out your ideas and research. Outlining is the best way to start clarifying what your main argument/point is.

2. Think about who your audience and your competition is - How will your speech stand out to your judges? How can you relate your ideas to them?

3. A well-prepared speech is easily recognizable to judges - Using your notecard to convey well-researched ideas will immediately show judges that you're serious about what you have to say.

4. Even if you're MLK, practice your speech. It always helps to get a feel for your speaking voice, your volume and tone, and even the way you want to stand. The way you think you might come across in a speech is always a little bit different than the speech you actually implement, so practice in front of a mirror, your dog, a camera, or your parents.

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