Declamation Blocking

Speaking events allow for movement in the designated performance space.  Blocking can be an effective way to show transition, climax, emphasis, or to move the speech along.  Usually a speaker moves to various, pre-selected spots with the start of a new paragraph of support and on the conclusion.  That's usually.  Declamation differs from other speaking events in that the speech presented has been done before; you have not created the words.  Therefore, when it comes to blocking a Declamation you might have to work with a speech that uses non-traditional transitions (no "first," "next," or "then").  This can make formulation of blocking not as straightforward as anticipated.  

The first thing to consider are the paragraphs.  A paragraph is a writers way to signal a switch to a new idea, new support, or progression.  Most likely a new paragraph can be a flag that movement might work.  Do not assume that a new paragraph deserves movement.  Determine first how this paragraph relates to the rest of the speech.  Does it introduce a new concept or is it a continuation of the previous paragraph?  Is it important or filler?  If the paragraph is new and special than signal transition with movement.

Sometimes waiting for a paragraph break is a poor choice when blocking.  Read the Declamation and pinpoint any occasions that are intense or crucial.  Is there a climax in the material?  Is there a portion of particularly spectacular rhetoric?  Is there a question that holds your attention?  This could be a pivotal moment where movement can intensify your performance.  It can also easily become an awkward motion if the surrounding sentences do not support such a drastic change.  However, if the move can be pulled, and look natural, then this might be a non-traditional movement that can earn you a higher rank.

Try to keep movement at a few carefully selected points.  Again, you really only need to move on transitions and possibly the conclusion.  Plan your route in advance so there is no confusion.  Planning ahead also helps to devise a visually pleasing path as well.  Be sure to always come back to center (where you began your speech) at the end to signal closure.  The center is also a powerful place to deliver the final message--being directly in front of people is more authoritative than being off-center.  Also, talk and look at your audience as you walk to appear comfortable and confident.

Looking at the language and structure of a Declamation speech is a surefire solution to blocking.  The script will give suggestions on when you should move.  All a speaker needs to do is be attuned to the hints.