Speaking from experience

Speech team uses last year’s success for motivation

After having ten students qualify for State Speech last year, the Yutan speech team hopes to have a successful season once again in and outside of competitions.

The 2020-21 team qualified both groups of Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID) for the state competition, and while neither team ended up placing at state, the students gained a lot of knowledge.

Sophomores Ellie Lloyd, Bella Tederman, and Haley Kube practice their OID. The group prepared for state last year by spending their lunchtime practicing. (Ginger Eikmeier)

“It was kind of an eye-opening experience to see the level of competition…that was something that we hadn’t seen,” speech coach Alyssa Hansen said. “Being able to see that level of competition really increases what kids know that they can accomplish and do throughout a season.”

Due to COVID, last year’s team wasn’t able to experience any full in-person meets. This was a major struggle since some of the new members had no idea what was expected or what their performance was supposed to look like.

“When it’s not recorded, when it’s live, that’s a lot more pressure. And I think that sometimes kids performed better because of that pressure,” Hansen said.

With COVID restrictions being lifted this year, speech competitions are going back to being in-person, and Hansen believes this will help the team be more successful.

“I love in-person meets. That really helps kids grow as performers more than anything else,” Hansen said.

By building more experience in-season, Hansen has high expectations for the team and herself. 

“I want to go back to state,” Hansen said. “I would love to win a competition this year. I would love to get first place at a competition… just because I’ve never done it before.”

Hansen isn’t the only one with big goals this season, as many returning students also have high expectations.

Sophomore Ellie Lloyd is one of the returning members of the OID group “Sleepover from Hell” and wants to add more of what she saw in the state performances to their own script.

“I’m gonna take what I saw from the other teams, like the good things that they did, or the things that I enjoyed to watch, and I’m going to put in our team,” Lloyd said.

Another returning member, junior Josh Fisher, also plans to use his past knowledge to help the team but not just in the usual group performance.

Seniors Caelin Wingender and Mia Dyer, juniors Tristen Honke and Josh Fisher, graduate Kaden Hufstedler and speech coach Alyssa Hansen stand in front of the NSAA banner at the 2021 State Speech Meet. The group’s performance was called “How to Kiss a Girl.” (Courtesy Photo)

“I did a duet last year so I’m gonna try doing that again,” Fisher said. “I’m gonna try to find a new duet partner since mine graduated last year and stay with OID as my main [event].”

Both plan on focusing on their group event since they have more experience in that category, but Lloyd and Fisher also have their own personal goals outside of competitions.

Lloyd said her personal goal “ is to have more confidence in myself and when I perform. I hope to become a better talker.”

 “[My goal is to] get people out of their comfort zones, to have more fun, and go up to talk to new people and make new friends,” Fisher said.

Speech is more than just performances and competitions, it’s people coming together and setting personal goals. Hansen believes the key to success is by accomplishing those goals.

“You want to be successful, not just as far as like medals and placing and going to state, but also in kids gaining confidence and kids knowing that they can do something that they probably thought was impossible,” Hansen said.