Public speaking: Easier than you thought possible


Speech team at Parker School on the Big Island for the Neighbor Island Tournament (NIT). Photo contributed by Naomi Franklin.

Anela Chavez, Editor-in-chief

McKinley High School’s speech team is a place to make friends and enhance public speaking and performance skills. Although they originally had a debate aspect to their team, this year they ended up only focusing on speech.

“Once you start, you get hooked and then it just snowballs until you’re an addict,” junior Melanie Lau said.

Speech tournaments consist of five to ten minute speeches given about a certain topic/category. Awards like trophies or certificates are given and there is a states tournament avail- able. In order to make it to states, you have to succeed in the qualifying season against other schools.

“I always thought, ‘Man, I’m so normal’, but speech actually like cultivated my competitive spirit,” senior Josephine Kaohi said.

Lau went to the neighbor island tournament her freshman year but wasn’t successful. However, this year at states, she won second place in the story telling category and fifth place in oratory.

“That was really cool. It like chartered my growth as a speech person,” Lau said.

Senior Luka Masuda started his junior year in story tell- ing. When he went to states this year he switched to the category of dramatic interpretation.

“I felt really happy that after all that practice and all those performances, finally led up to that moment where I got into states,” Masuda said.

At her first tournament this year, senior Jasmine Quilit won first place in the category of impromptu even though she was scared of the category she was competing in.

“You’re always your own worst critic and so I realized that sometimes I just have to step back,” Quilit said.