A hopeful start to the 2020 Speech season


LSE Speech team at the second to last competition of last year’s season.

Emily Stoner, Photo Editor

2020 has changed the way many sports and activities are able to compete and practice. For the LSE Speech team, that meant competitions going fully on Zoom using new resources like Speechwire and NSDA Campus. On Nov. 7, Speech had their first competition for the new season, and it was very different in competition and team dynamic. 

“It was a bit weird, but it was really fun to see everyone and I’m happy for everyone that is willing to try speech this year even with how weird it’s going to be,” said Varsity Speech member Isabella Lecher (10), who competed on Saturday. 

Lecher is involved in band and theater, as well as this being her second year on the speech team. Reflecting on a normal and successful previous season, Lecher said that “last year, it was super fun at the competitions. The energy and suspense of finals is exhilarating, and the team aspect between rounds was great.” 

This year however, competition structure and the team aspect have both changed. In a normal year, the speech team would travel to a school and compete in-person, with three preliminary rounds and one final round. During every round each person shares their piece for their various events. To continue, individuals are ranked and the top speakers per event proceed to finals. After completing finals, teams are given final rankings and awards. 

With necessary COVID-19 precautions, this year the speech team competed from their computers. 

We no longer travel to a school and compete in person, we just zoom from home or from school,” Lecher said. 

With more competition in the form of isolation, team dynamic changes as well.

“Seeing someone over a screen during zoom is way different than being in-person and seeing them in real life. To be quite honest, it feels like the connections aren’t as close. Not to say there wasn’t some great energy Saturday, I had a bunch of fun, just that it doesn’t feel as close as in-person,” Lecher said. Before Saturday this new kind of competition was unfamiliar, and hard to predict how it would feel for the speech teams. 

Although it was sad that we weren’t able to meet up as a team in-person and have that energy in-person, it was fun being able to talk with them over zoom and hype up before the competition there. It wasn’t the same at all, but I was happy with how it went,” Lecher said. 

After a good start to the season, Lecher hopes that the rest of the season is fun and successful for everyone involved.