Speech Spectacles


Vince Orozco, Managing Editor

Forensics, or competitive speaking and acting, is a quite like a track meet for the spoken word.

Students compete in specific events at tournaments that occur every Saturday where they give their performance and are then rated by a judge.

The events at these tournaments range from speaking on subjects of international concern to reciting poetry.

One student who participates in Forensics is sophomore Nikhil Reddy.

Reddy participates in International Extemporaneous speaking, Informative speaking, and Congressional Debate.

“In International Extemp, I pick one of three questions over international issues, and I get 30 minutes to research and prepare a 7-minute speech over that topic,” Reddy said. “Although the event seems difficult, it becomes easier to give the speech after more practice and improvisation during the speech. Informative involves giving a pre-made 10-minute speech over an interesting topic such as aliens, curiosity, languages, or much more. In Congressional Debate, students or ‘representatives’ debate over bills and resolutions about the US much like the US Congress. I love these events because they help me get more involved in understanding current events in the US and around the world. Many other public speaking events and acting events are more tailored to the individual, and anyone can give a speech based on a topic of interest.”

Reddy said that the class was relaxed and had a great atmosphere.

“Each class starts off with [Forensics coach] Mr. Riffer’s ‘roll call question’ in which he asks a thought-provoking question and everyone gives an answer,” Reddy said. “Aside from that and free time, much of the class time is devoted to working on speeches. Most students give practice speeches with one another or occasionally in front of the class. Also, students work with Mr. Riffer to improve their performance.”

Reddy said that the season ended well, but that seven students, of whom Reddy is included, still have two nationals tournaments this summer.

Reddy said that the group as a whole performed well in public speaking and debate typ activities; however, the group needs more actors.

Next year, Reddy is looking forward to improving his own performance and hopes that the group as a whole can continue to improve in order to do better at state.

“Forensics is a great class to take because it improves anyone’s speaking ability and brings people together,” Reddy said. “The class helps people, including me, become better speakers in order to communicate in front of new people or eventually larger crowds. The class is also a great environment, and the tournaments are a great way to meet new people. Overall, Forensics helps develop your personality and makes you become a more involved and sociable person.”