In the past few weeks, sub sections and then sections culled our speech team from twenty-eight to twelve to one. Two of our speechies missed joining our sole, state-bound winner (at the top of the dog pile) by one place.
(As an aside, my DD is on the left. She placed fourth last week with her persuasive speech on homosexual bullying within the school setting. I’ve never been so proud of her and her absoulute confidence as I was watching her in final rounds. She rocks my socks off and has way more courage than I ever had! If you want to read her speech, you can find it under It’s Not about Sex on the Inspirations tab.)
At the tender ages of 13-17, those students who missed advancement to the next level already exhibit tremendous poise and grace. They didn’t cry, spout angry expletives or pout. Rather, they shook the hands of the winners and walked away vowing to try harder next year. They cheered on the remaining speechies, wishing them luck and honestly celebrating their successes.
Speech is very personal. It challenges one’s abilities and confidence. It builds character and hones life-long skills. It can also be brutal, as contestants are critiqued and judged. They are told each and every meet what they do right and what they do wrong. They receive comments on anything from dress to poise, articulation to body language, pronunciation to speed, oral fluidity to memorization, and audience connection to their depth of emotion.
These kids have thick skin.
Remind you of anyone you know?
How do you handle the success of those who achieve your dreams? Do you have the grace to honestly congratulate them and cheer them on, or do you feel compelled to complain and compare, wallowing in your unfair failures and their unfair success?
Do you have the thick skin it takes to be critiqued and judged and deemed less than worthy of a medal and advancement? If not, why are you writing? If so, what tips do you have to pursue this passionate, yet highly competitive, dream of publication?
Curious minds want to know.
PS~ Keep your fingers crossed for our extemporaneous speaker. He has 30 minutes to prepare a seven minute speech and then present it to a panel of judges. The topics are current events, and with this being an election year, they are highly political. Good training for future presidency!