You Don’t Know Us – Speech

How the Speech Team ‘Gets to Talking’


Jessica Schlichtemeier

Jasmine Rainey (left) and Lily Drannen pose with their awards from the 2020 Conestoga Speech Invite. This season, most meets are being held remotely, and performers present their speeches via Zoom or through pre-recorded videos.

MURRAY, NEB.–As the second semester falls into place, Conestoga’s speech team, the Trendsetters, are wrapping up their speeches and preparing to perform. The Trendsetters may sometimes be mistaken to be closed-off, serious, or non- team-players. Regardless of the sprinkling of truth in that assumption, there is so much more to the speech team.

Although the Trendsetters need time to work by themselves and prepare a speech, there is also a lot of teamwork behind the scenes. At speech practice the Trendsetters have as much time as they need to work on perfecting their speeches and making them suitable for an audience. Practices are held every Wednesday, but additional practices on Fridays may be held if there is a lot that needs to be prepared. From finding scripts to giving advice on how to put together poetry, Schlichtemeier tries her hardest to help the students as much as possible.

Not only does the coach help out by giving advice, but also by inviting alumni to practices to help as well. When you are starting out in speech, the work can be a little overwhelming. Taking some of the weight off of their shoulders with the help of these amazing alumni helps tremendously. For example, poetry speeches can be very difficult and hard to grasp at the beginning, but alumni such as Cassidy Hartig and Kira Mendoza can easily help the process become more transparent. For speeches such as entertainment, Jacob Drake is a huge help to both the Trendsetters and Mrs.Schlichtemeier.

After spending so much time and working together, the team has become very close. Seeing your teammate’s familiar faces while hurriedly making your way to another round makes the whole process more comforting and enjoyable. The Trendsetters help each other overcome the adversities that come with performing. Without teammates, speech would not be nearly as fun as it is.