An Original Oratory Secret Weapon

Writing an Original Oratory is a never-ending process.  Between you, your coaches, teammates, and judges there are always edits and revisions to be made while perfecting the speech.  Hopefully these alterations will be minor; revisions are expected, massive-overhauls usually equate to a more severe symptom a minor rewrite cannot fix.  In order to ensure that massive surgery does not need to be performed after a competition it is essential to write a fairly solid Original Oratory at the start of the process.  Begin with a strong base that can be improved upon. 

This is simpler to say than to achieve.  When one pair of eyes are the only ones an OO sees mistakes are overlooked.  But aside from a coach, who are some people you can turn to for Original Oratory advice?  Actually, a few people.  An OO is a research paper, not nuclear physics.  If you feel your writing can use some special attention schedule a meeting with these people:

  • English teacher.  Not only should every English teacher be excellent with grammar and writing techniques, English teachers have to teach research writing as well.  This makes the English teacher a triple threat...of Original Oratory helpfulness!  Contact them for input in advance and do not rush them to proofread this extra paper.  Teachers are busy people.  They take care of you during the day and then spend a few hours extra each night preparing for the next day to do it again.  So be nice and say thank you.
  • Future English major.  You know the type.  Reads a lot.  Writes well.  Knowledgeable in any Literature class.  Probably writes in their free time.  If you are on speaking terms with anyone who meets this description politely ask if they would mind helping you out with a paper.  It might be slightly awkward asking for help on a project that is not an assignment, but you would be surprised how kind people can be if you ask them nicely.
  • History/Science teacher.  Some history/science teachers are actually good writers.  Particularly the ones that teach any AP courses (college credit course work).  They need to know history/science AND train you for writing essays for the exams.  Not that you should have your Original Oratory proofread by a history or science teacher for specific writing needs.  No, these teachers are suggested if you have analysis in your OO that is heavily based in science or history.  Sources you cite can only give you facts and an idea on interpretation.  You have to do most of the thinking.  Perhaps one of the teachers in those fields, or another, can give you some insight on whether or not your analytical processes were clear and rational?  Again, ask in advance.
  • Parent or friend.  Sometimes all you need to tell you if your structure and analysis makes sense is to have a regular, normal, passerby read your speech.  These people may only have an opinion about your topic and not much factual information.  Thus, this might be new to them.  You can gauge how interesting the topic was.  You can be given an opinion of if they could follow your Original Oratory and if they liked it.  That's it.  A "basic" review.  These types often are the ones that uncover any confusing language OR shoddy structure your piece has.

Have as many people read your Original Oratory as possible before you bring it to competition.  The more opinions the better.  Take what you want, or what you should, from each insight.  Note that you cannot please all parties who read your work, but getting an approximation of common suggestions prior to this OO's use in a round is a fantastic way to keep rewrites to tweaks and avoid complete restructuring.