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Seniors go 'big' for senior year OID speech


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5a5639235857d Parker Dodson, Erin Benal, Sara Avila, Elizabeth Barnard
Erin Benal, Senior
Parker Dodson, Erin Benal, Sara Avila, Elizabeth Barnard

Erin Benal is always on the look-out for a good script. The senior speech team member (previously attended St. Joseph School) is interested in having a discussion – alright, she calls it arguing – on any number of topics.

So it makes sense a few of her speech events are focused on current events and persuasion. This year she is working on extemporaneous speaking, persuasive speech about the prison system, a duet yet to be determined, a dramatic interpretation, and oral interpretation of drama.  

Next year she plans to attend college and double major in Mass Communications and Political Science, with a minor in Russian. While waiting for acceptance letters from a few dream colleges, she answered a few questions about the speech team.

About Extemporaneous speaking

"It's a minimal prep event where on average I get 30 minutes to choose a topic, research, and prepare five paragraph essay, then give a 5- to 7-minute speech.

"There is a certain process that works for you in order to get the story that you want, so I always try to start the season with the event so I will be better by the time we get to districts."

"I loved arguing with people. You could hear me arguing in the hallways over something really small. I try to have the updates on my phone (to stay up on the news), and I try to talk to a lot of other people."

On her group speech, Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID)

"It's a parody of 'The Wizard of Oz,' where an everyday girl, maybe from the Midwest, has a traumatic experience, and the 'Wizard of Oz' characters help her deal with that experience."

"OID got started because all 4 of us decided we have to do one; it's senior year. Go big!"

On getting started with public speaking

"I was in St Joe's choir, tried to do all the plays I could, always liked performing, in dance for about 10 years, so performing was kind of in my everyday life. Then my older sister Sarah was in speech, so I grew up around it, so when I got to high school, I said, 'Ok, I'll try it,' and just never stopped."

The benefits of being on the team

"You start with not knowing anyone, and then by the end of the first season you know every single person in your event; so you are getting to meet people and create relationships that are going to help you down the line."

Why others should try  

"Speech comes off really intimidating, but there is an event for everyone, there really is. Even if you are a little weary of it, you will find you will have the best year of your life just being on our speech team."

Pius X • 6000 A St. • Lincoln, NE 68510 • 402-488-0931 • Fax: 402-488-1061

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