Speech and Drama Festivals/ Elocution contests/LAMDA, New Era, Victoria College, Trinity exams
To do well in an elocution contest, Speech and Drama Festival or Exam you must speak clearly, loudly and with expression. If you can manage to master all three of these skills you will stand a very good chance of doing well. Listen to me recite a poem.
How to judge an Elocution Contest
If you have been asked to judge an elocution contest, what should you look for?
First of all you need to be able to hear the competitor. Then listen to see if you can hear the words clearly, are they being articulated well. Are the 't' and 'd' sounds being put on the end of the words. Is the competitor using his tongue correctly to get the 'th' sound or does it sound like 'd'?
How fast are they speaking? Is it too fast for you to enjoy the performance?
These technical skills are important but a person could be technically brilliant and still sound boring.
A good speaker needs to sound interesting, they need to be able to put expression into their speech.
Do they have variety in their pace and pitch?
Do they make the important words stand out?
Would you like to listen to them read or perform more?
If you have to judge an elocution contest and have a question for me about how to judge it please contact me with your question.
The first thing you have to do is make sure that the audience can hear you. There's no point in speaking clearly with expression if no one can hear you.
If you open your mouth wider than you do in ordinary everyday speech the sound will be able to get out.
Another thing that will help the audience to hear you is if you speak slowly. Your voice will have to carry quite a long way so the sound needs time to get to the listener. Make sure you finish all of your words, say every 't' and 'd' at the the of the words, particularly in words like 'and', 'but' and 'get'. These are common everyday words so we tend not to give them any thought. Don't let bet be confused with bed or beg - they all begin the same but they have different endings and the audience need to hear those endings.
Clear articulation will also slow you down - which is good.
I have some voice exercises here for you to practice.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of pausing. This gives you a chance to take a breath and gives your listeners a chance to take in what you have said. Everyone should pause at a comma, full stop, exclamation mark and before an important word or after an important word.
Having said that you need to slow your speech down, you also need variety. Variety of pace, power and pitch. This will make what you say sound interesting and easy to remember.
Once you've picked out the important words you need to make them stand out. This can be done by pausing, by saying them louder, by using inflection in your voice, by using facial expression and by altering the pitch of your voice.
When you're speaking to an audience make eye contact with the audience and judges from time to time. If you're reading out loud this will be on the important words, if you're speaking from memory this will be most of the time.
Memorizing the words
If you have to speak from memory make learning the words your very first priority. Until you know the words, they cannot become part of you and you will find it very hard to speak with expression if you're still struggling with the words.
Listen to me now.....
Below is a video of me reciting 'Daffodils', if you would like to learn how to say this poem please enrol in my online course for only £10. If you would like to learn how to recite other poems for festivals or competitions please book a skype lesson with me.
Do you need my help?
If you would like just one lesson to go over your contest/exam pieces please contact me.
OR enrol on one of my best selling online courses - details here
You are a "Guru" (teacher) in the true sense of the word, as you impart and share your knowledge in totality, and I'm lucky to have you as a teacher. Kavita.
I would like to thank you for helping me have confidence in my speech today. It is because of you I did much better than I have before when presenting as speech. I was a little shaky, but other than that my voice sounded fine and I pronounced every word slowly and with emphasis on those that I wanted people to hear! Elections are tomorrow. Without you, this would not have happened! You are an inspiration! Thank you so much, Joe from New York
At the end of last term my son went for head boy and delivered an amazing speech, something we never imagined he would put himself forward for. Many of the teachers complimented him and were taken aback by his confidence and presence, he buzzed with excitement for days afterwards and said he loved speaking in public. It is through all your hard work that he has this turn around in his approach to speaking and for this we will be forever grateful. Elaine
Don't miss out on these amazing offers...
Would you like life time access to my pronunciation online course? This covers all the basics and is now available for just £9.99Free sample lectures available before you enrol. Click here now.
children to speak clearly and confidently for only £5.49. The most useful skill
we can teach our children is how to communicate confidently. Click here to find
If you don't live locally, which is central Portugal, and would like an elocution lesson, book a lesson by Skype from anywhere in the world.