Speech and School

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I was thinking last night about how I have to start considering which classes to take next year. It's a big decision after all. Junior year is the year colleges look at most when it comes to grades and curriculum. It also got me thinking about how the classes you take now can help/hurt you in your other classes, you extra curricular activities, and possibly your major or career later on. So with that thought, I figured today's topic should be what classes can help you most with speech. So here's your list:
1. Speech! This one is pretty much a given. Whether your school has a mandatory speech class for speech team members, which allows you to practice every day, or if you just have a class dedicated to learning the generals of public speaking, it can be a major helper. Sometimes learning out of a textbook will give you more pointers than trying to absorb everything your coach says to you.
2. Advanced English. Every school has different class set ups when it comes to English. Some schools simply have the general English, Honors English, AP English format. Whereas others have specific types of classes such as composition, creative writing, literature, etc. Either way, it is important to take as many English classes as possible (especially in writing) as these will help you immensely in speech.
3. Theatre/Drama. Whether you compete in an interp event, speaking event, congress, or debate, theatre can help you more than you'll know. For starters, if you're an interper it will give you some great pointers on voice and characterization. But even if you aren't an interper, you learn how to take criticism on your performace (something vital in both speech and theatre), learn to develop your voice, get over quite a bit of nerves and stage fright, and you learn how to let loose and have fun with what you're performing.
4. US History. This isn't so important if you are an interper, but for every other event, it is vital. Having this foundation is something that you can use in your speech, not only to get your judge/audience to understand the basics of what you're saying, but so that you can understand fully what you're saying. This is helpful especially in extemp and debate when there is CX (cross examination) involved.
5. World History. Same as US History.
6. Government. This is relatively the same as US History and World History, but even more vital. If you don't know how our government works, you are going to have no shot in discussion, extemp, debate, or congress. That said, government is usually a senior class, so if you have been competing in these events for several years, you may already know everything that is taught in government.
7. Economics- same as government.
8. Law. If your school offers any kind of class on law (ours offers a class called Business and Personal Law), it may be an asset for you to take it. Chances are that you will learn quite a bit about laws in place, and the law making process itself, something that can be advantageous in most speaking events.
9. Last but not least, those other classes that you take, the required ones, the ones that are boring? Listen in them. Even if it is boring as all get out, use that to your advantage. You want to be a good audience when you aren't performing right? Even if the piece is boring. So practice this in chemistry or geometry or whatever class you find to be boring. It will help you in school and in speech.

Just FYI, the quotes around this blog are because I copied it from a blog I wrote on another speech site.  I promise I didn't plagiarize!! :)

Everything you said is so true about how school can actually help you with Speech.  I especially liked the part about all "the other" classes..."the boring ones" and how learning to pay attention in those will help you become a better audience member.  Hilarious, yet truthful.  

Also, being called on randomly in class is great Impromptu practice, haha! 

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