Oak Bluffs High School - Beacon Yearbook (Oak Bluffs, MA)

 - Class of 1934

Page 11 of 52

 

Oak Bluffs High School - Beacon Yearbook (Oak Bluffs, MA) online yearbook collection, 1934 Edition, Page 11
Page 11



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THE BEACON 9 ple-and even people from the other towns--is very apparent from the enormous number who turn out every year, the hall is always filled long bc- fore the contest is ready to begin. Besides thoroughly entertaining all those who attend them, the speaking contests are valuable for many more reasons. First, they foster the spirit of competition. A student must com- pete even to enter the contests. Sec- o11d, they train the memory. The more one learns, the more he is able to learn. Speaking contests students must memorize their pieces thoroughly. This sharpenstheir memory, and it al- so exercises and strengthens it, so that it may do even more work. Third, speaking contests teach students to take good care of their voices and health i11 general. We believe that contestants catch fewer colds during the training period than during any other time of the year. If they do catch colds, it is seldom through care- lessness. Fourth, speaking contests teach students to face the public. Af- ter competing a few times a student loses all traces of stage-fright-"A consummation devoutly to be wished! ' Fifth, speaking contests teach stud- ents to inte1'pret correctly whatthey read. f No contestant can take a prize ex- cept he interprets his' piece as it should be interpreted. He must be able to put himself in the place of the per- son speaking. Sixth, speaking con- tests teach students to hold themselves in erect positions and to avoid all signs of nervousness. Seventh, speak- ing contests teach students to pronun- ciate words so that those around them understand the nature of all the char- acters i11 his selection. In speaking hc must understand the nature of his audience. He must quickly compre- hend why o11e joke didn't go over and the other did. He must watch facet. to see if his listeners have to strain to catch his words. He must under- stand human nature so that he may know where to raise his voice to a roar and where to whisper. He must understand human nature to know where to pause in his speaking. This may be able to understand what they say. Eighth, speaking contests teach ple think. We think that the un- derstanding of human nature is the art is more important than most peo- students to understand human nature, for a good speaker must be able to most important requisite of a good speaking contestant. Ninth, speaking contests teach students to think on their feet! This may seem incredible, at first, but it is true. All speeches may 11ot be memorized. Impromptu speak- ing does not call for a speech to flow from the memory. But even in a speak- ing contest where selections are mem- orized, a prize-winner must know how to think on his feet, for no matter how well one knows his piece, there is still a great chance of his forgetting something, but if he has the ability to think on his feet he may fill in the gap and the audience and even the judges would never know the dif- ference. We have seen this done. No doubt we have omitted evcn more values of speaking contests, yet we feel that we have explained the outstanding ones. Then, speaking con- tests are important and valuable bc- cause they entertain those who at- tend, encourage competition, improve the memory, improve the voice and health in general, teach students to face the public, teach students to in- terpret and understand correctly what they read, teach them to maintain erect postures and avoid signs of ner- vousness, teach students to pronounce clearly and correctly, teach them to understand human nature, and last but not least, speaking contests teach students to think on their feet!

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