Developing Confidence With Hawks Speech Team


Angela Richart

Dressed in suits, not cowboy boots, the Northeast Community College Speech team spent the weekend of October 11 competing at the 2014 Pioneer Trails Tournament hosted by Casper College in Casper, Wyoming.

According to speech coach, Terry Nelson, “Competitive speech involves putting together an event and perfecting it for competition at tournaments all over the country.” She says the countless benefits of joining the speech team include leadership skills, stronger research and critical thinking abilities, self confidence, teamwork and communication competence.

Although there are many benefits there are also some difficulties. Some students find it difficult to keep up with their classes while working on speech projects. “The time and dedication required to be competitive is pretty intense.  Ballots can be brutal.  Judges and their comments can be quite subjective and, as a result, hard work doesn’t always pay off…” Nelson adds.

Speech Team competing at the 2014 Pioneer Trails Tournament

Despite the setbacks, Nelson finds coaching speech very rewarding. “The best part of coaching for me involves the mentoring relationship.  Pushing students to excel and watching them grow can be quite fulfilling.” She says that she enjoys the opportunity to have a positive impact on student’s lives.

” Strong communication skills are absolutely crucial to any field.  And while the process of going to tournaments, and sometimes coming home with metaphorical black eyes, can be excruciatingly painful, when all is said and done these competitors come out with amazing life and job skills,” said Nelson.

“Speech,” according to Sophomore competitor, Joe Lose, “is a huge confidence builder. You meet some very different  people. Some good, some stupid, some entertaining and infuriating.”

His favorite tournament was the one in Casper. “There were tons of trophies and everyone had fun,” said Lose.

Congratulations to the Hawks as they returned from the Cowboy State with twelve new awards.

Tim Browning, freshman, (Bancroft, NE) 3rd in duo interpretation (with Jasmine)

Jasmine Phander, freshman, (Ewing, NE) 3rd in duo (with Tim), 5th in duo (with Drew), 1st in dramatic interpretation, 1st in prose interpretation.
Drew Sempek, sophomore, (Stromsberg, NE) 2nd in duo interpretation (with Joe), 5th in duo (with Jasmine), 5th in prose interpretation
Joe Lose, sophomore, (Kansas City, MO) 2nd in duo interpretation (with Drew), 3rd in prose 
Musa Fofana, sophomore, (Gambia) 3rd in poetry interpretation, 4th in impromptu speaking
Casper College in Casper, Wyoming.