Amanda Hamende and Nicolette Ngov – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- During fourth and sixth periods Friday the LRHS Speech and Debate team hosted a Talk-a-Thon, during which students had opportunities to present their speeches in front of an audience before they start their competitive season.  The students also obtained sponsors for how many times they spoke.

Before they started speaking, LRHS English teacher and speech and debate adviser Amanda Hargen led several warm-ups.  Some included neck stretches, vowel elongation exercises, and the repetition of pronunciation poems.

Speakers, dressed in business attire, split up into two separate groups in order to give students the most opportunities to share their speeches.

The first speech was by freshman Nolan Carpenter, who is in the event of Oratorical Declamation.  After presenting, he would mark a tally on his name and then the next speaker would follow.  Some other events included Public Forum and Student Congress.

The students shared the stage by choosing when they wanted to talk.  The event was very efficient in the sense that students got many opportunities to speak with the rotation system.  The students were stopped at exactly four minutes to limit the time on their speeches.

The Talk-a-Thon is a great opportunity for students to show their work off to other students in hopes of improvement. Carpenter stated, “You can say what you think… and not be afraid to express your thoughts.”

Sophomore Maddie Facciolla commented, “It helps you form a stronger argument to get your point across thoroughly.”

Hargen said there are many benefits to participating in speech and debate, including practice with public speaking, college preparation, and making new friends with common interests.

Junior Logan Fiedler stated that the best thing he received from Speech and Debate was how it “helps you get over your speaking fears.”

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