Placing Reactions

5 replies [Last post]

The main objective of every speechie and debater is to place.  There are certainly other prerogatives involved with Forensics, but it is every competitor's dream to be up on stage, have their name called, and step forward to have a medal placed around their neck.  Those watching must have noticed the three predominant methods people use when accepting an award for performance awesomeness.  Don't you, as the spectator to the ceremony have a favorite?  I know I do!  Here are the three reactions I've noticed.

Subdued: this person has almost no expression on their face.  They are almost stone-faced.  They might give one smile total when shaking the hand of the person distributing awards.  Mostly they rely on the head nod technique.  You've seen it.  They nod their head appreciative, I guess that's what it is, towards the competition.  It's slight, but you can see inside they are either stunned or happy.

Over-joyed: they cry, they may hop once, they let you know how excited they are to win.  Almost nauseatingly so (no dis-respect!).  They also like to hug all the competition, wave to cheering teammates, and make a happy display. 

Moderate: exactly what the title implies; it's smack-dab in the middle.  Smiles, but cool.  Calm.  Collect.  Might give a handshake or hug to a competitor they chat with frequently or respect. 

So which is the correct way to act?  I don't know.  I might be finalgirl101 but that's a nod towards horror films NOT finals at speech tournies--though I have had a few stage expeditions.  I personally like to think of myself as a Moderate.  But hey, everyone has a personal preference.  I could never be Subdued because I cannot hide being happy.  I naturally am prone to smile.  But I could never be Over-joyed as well because that's just too...BIG?

My only criticism of the extremities of reactions (Over-joyed and Subdued) is to be careful not to either come off as ungrateful or phony happy.  Holden wasn't the only one to dislike phonies, haha.  It's great you won, and enjoy it, but there is no reason to make a spectacle.  And it's okay to show some excitement for winning!  Do what feels natural.

Am I wrong for saying this?  How do you guys react?  Any hilarious stories about awards anyone cares to divulge?  ;^)

I used to take my Mary Tyler Moore hat and toss it in the air. While freezing in place.


It's sad to see someone look irritated or disappointed in their ranking. As if they expected to get first. You placed. BE HAPPY!

At least look somewhat happy and then gripe on the bus home, lol

I'm a perfectionist when it comes to speech and debate, and most of the time I don't win competitions I attend. For me it's harder to deal with the feeling of not winning, and how to reconcile my own reaction with loss than it is to do so with victory. When winning it's easy, you accept your award and smile, but don't celebrate in front of everyone else; save it for the car ride home. Whereas with losing you don't want to seem happy, but you also don't want to let the hubris of the defeated seep in and have a feeling that you should have won. In the end the unfortunate truth is that, by design, there are fewer winners than losers and reconciling with failure is far more difficult than dealing with winning.
As a side note, I completely agree that most everyone falls into the three categories in terms of reactions when placing, you summed that up really nicely.

Thank you EvanCornelius.

But I think you're right. Dealing with the feelings of failure are the hardest to handle. Especially when you're reading critique sheets and wondering if you were performing in a different round than where that judge was who gave you a 6, and you can't quite figure out why.

I think the hardest thing for me was doing duet and being the "weaker" one in the group. I had to wonder, "If my partner had a better partner, would they be winning more?" Luckily I had an awesome partner who helped me up my game and who never once blamed me for a near wins. Personally, I thought we were pretty good. And we got laughs. So there :)

I think I just got to the point where I realized I was having fun, doing better each tournament, and did my best in each round. Can't really ask for more, right?

Post reply