The forensics public speaking team competed in a Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League competition on Saturday, Sept. 29, at SVSU.
Six of the seven members of SVSU’s team placed in the competition and will compete again at the competition at Oakland University in December.
The event consisted of a tournament in the morning followed by afternoon workshops, where students honed their competition skills.
The tournament portion consisted of three rounds across four categories of events, including dramatic interpretation, prose, impromptu and informative.
“The purpose of the competition was to introduce new students to the activity by combining a limited tournament experience with educational seminars related to individual events,” said Amy Pierce, a communications professor and the team’s advisor.
The majority of the team members were competing for the first time and did not expect to place.
“I ended up doing way better than I expected,” said communications major Courtney Perrou. “I earned second place in the prose category. I was so honored and proud. The person I lost to was outstanding, so I wasn’t even upset. It only encouraged me to keep practicing and keep getting better.”
Fifth-year communications major Ashley Murdock echoed the pleasant surprise at the team’s success.
“I did not expect to place, but I was excited to find out that I did,” Murdock said. “Each participant created unique arguments, and I felt encouraged to continue in the future.”
Forensics team members said lot of preparation goes into their competitions. The team members spend months rehearsing and practicing, meeting as a group three hours a week and individually with coaches to receive feedback on their speeches.
“Topic and script selection are the most time-consuming and important aspects of early preparation,” Pierce said. “Topics must be recent, socially significant, and have universal appeal. Platform events require eight to 15 sources within the last calendar year.”
Being on the forensics team brings team members more than just a place in a competition.
“Competitive speaking provides students with skills in areas as diverse as research, writing, critical thinking, presentation, literary selection, time management, and interpersonal communication,” Pierce said.
The forensics team is currently preparing for their next competition in December at Oakland University.