Speech Festival Workshop - Tips & Advice Presentation

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2010 presentation on the Hong Kong Speech Festival, shared with permission from HKU's Gary Harfitt. For this year's poems, visit youtube.com/speechfestival12

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Presentation Transcript

Welcome:

Welcome Workshop on solo verse and prose speaking/reading HKSMSA Gary Harfitt, HKU

The aims of today’s workshop:

The aims of today’s workshop 1) To raise participants’ awareness about the basic concepts and techniques on performing a speech. 2) To provide participants with an opportunity to try out some materials for practical use. 3) To share with participants some insights and expertise

A question to start with…:

A question to start with… What qualities in your opinion are needed for an effective solo verse presentation? Make a list of ‘ must haves ’

PowerPoint Presentation:

From the HKSMSA rules and regulations: It is stressed that the QUALITY of VOCAL TECHNIQUES and the INTERPRETATION of the piece are the most important factors for a good performance. Adjudication will be based on the overall performance of the competitors, including: Clarity of speech e.g. pronunciation, intonation, articulation, voice projection, etc. Interpretation e.g. understanding and conveying the author’s message, etc. Audience awareness e.g. effective communication with the audience

My own view…:

My own view… Students are bringing a written text to life. They are giving meaning to the words on the paper through clear delivery, good tone and pacing, and appropriate use of facial expressions.

What makes a good presentation?:

What makes a good presentation? Accurate pronunciation Clarity of voice Pacing and tone Meaning / consistent interpretation conveyed Some enthusiasm and confidence shown Students do not all have to be the same – allow them the space to add their own interpretation Avoid gestures that are distracting and unnecessary

Looking at the following aspects of solo verse:

Looking at the following aspects of solo verse Pronunciation and tone Lengthy, repetitive poems with regular rhymes Rhythm and rhyme patterns Capturing sounds in a poem Body language and facial expressions ‘Ambiguous’ poems – seeking the ‘right’ interpretation.

1) Pronunciation and tone:

1) Pronunciation and tone What are the most problematic sounds for our students to reproduce?

PowerPoint Presentation:

At the Railway Station, Upway by Thomas Hardy ‘There is not much that I can do, For I’ve no money that’s quite my own!’ Spoke up the pitying child – A little boy with a violin At the station before the train came in – ‘But I can play my fiddle to you, And a nice one ‘tis, and good in tone!’ The man in the handcuffs smiled; The constable looked, and he smiled, too, As the fiddle began to twang; And the man in the handcuffs suddenly sang With grimful glee: ‘This life so free Is the thing for me!’ And the constable smiled, and said no word, As if unconscious of what he heard; And so they went on till the train came in – The convict, and boy with the violin.

Identifying some potential problems:

Identifying some potential problems Which words? The pace? The mood? Pronunciation / accent? The context? What is going on?

PowerPoint Presentation:

1) Pronunciation, tone, meaning. At the Railway Station, Upway by Thomas Hardy ‘There is not much that I can do, For I’ve no money that’s quite my own!’ Spoke up the pitying child – A little boy with a violin At the station before the train came in – ‘But I can play my fiddle to you, And a nice one ‘tis, and good in tone!’ The man in the handcuffs smiled; The constable looked, and he smiled, too, As the fiddle began to twang; And the man in the handcuffs suddenly sang With grimful glee: ‘This life so free Is the thing for me!’ And the constable smiled, and said no word, As if unconscious of what he heard; And so they went on till the train came in – The convict, and boy with the violin.

2) Lengthy, repetitive poems The News by David Harmer:

2) Lengthy, repetitive poems The News by David Harmer I don’t like news I don’t like news that explodes that screams abuse leaves refugees kicks the legs crying, homeless from under wingers. that orders tanks taps their ankles into cities argues back blasting down news that won’t learn schools and houses. how to lose. News that blows up I like news hospitals that’s just been born news that kills news that puts and fills deep graves. food in stomachs.

PowerPoint Presentation:

news that rescues news that cures that celebrates its hundredth birthday news that will make today happier than the day before.

From: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Mischievous:

From: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Mischievous Main Entry: mis·chie·vous Pronunciation: mis-chə-vəs, / mɪs tʃə vəs / Function: adjective 1. maliciously or playfully annoying. 2. causing annoyance, harm, or trouble. 3. roguishly or slyly teasing, as a glance. 4. harmful or injurious.

Supporting activities:

Supporting activities IPA activities with sounds / practice; Connected speech practice; Tongue twisters; Identifying rhyme patterns (use of limericks etc); Recording students and letting them hear themselves; Identifying tone in poems, songs and stories; Listening to poems being read aloud; Hearing the ‘music’ in a poem; and Don’t just restrict students to one poem

PowerPoint Presentation:

3) Rhythm and rhyme From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson Faster than fairies, faster than witches, Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches; And charging along like the troops in a battle, All through the meadows the horses and cattle: All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain; And ever again, in the wink of an eye, Painted stations whistle by. Here is a child who clambers and scrambles, All by himself and gathering brambles; Here is a tramp who stands and gazes; And there is the green for stringing the daisies! Here is a cart run away in the road Lumping along with man and load; And here is a mill, and there is a river: Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

PowerPoint Presentation:

4) Capturing sounds Silver by Walter De La Mere Slowly, silently, now the moon Walks the night in her silver shoon; This way, and that, she peers, and sees Silver fruit upon silver trees; One by one the casements catch Her beams beneath the silvery thatch; Couched in his kennel, like a log, With paws of silver sleeps the dog; From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep; A harvest mouse goes scampering by, With silver claws, and silver eye; And moveless fish in the water gleam, By silver reeds in a silver stream.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Silver by Walter De La Mere Slowly, silently , now the moon Walks the night in her silver shoon; This way, and that, she peers , and sees Silver fruit upon silver trees ; One by one the casements catch Her beams beneath the silvery thatch; Couched in his kennel, like a log, With paws of silver sleeps the dog; From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep ; A harvest mouse goes scampering by, With silver claws , and silver eye; And moveless fish in the water gleam, By silver reeds in a silver stream .

Possible strategies:

Possible strategies Introduce pauses Add effects – change pitch of voice, tone, expression etc Vary the pace - slow the poem down – quicken it again where appropriate Think about the ending – how can it be made more engaging for an audience?

PowerPoint Presentation:

5) Body language and facial expressions From HKSMSA rules and regulations Competitors could decide whether or not their use of gestures, movements, music, costumes, props, etc. would enhance the quality of their performance . However, they should always bear in mind that the adjudicators will make a decision with reference to the judging criteria and the overall performances. The decision of the adjudicators shall be final.

5) The Frog Who Dreamt She Was an Opera Singer by Jackie Kay:

5) The Frog Who Dreamt She Was an Opera Singer by Jackie Kay There once was a frog who dreamed she was an opera singer. She wished so hard she grew a long throat and a beautiful polkadot green coat and intense opera singer’s eyes. But she couldn’t grow tall. She just couldn’t grow tall. She leaped to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, practising her sonata all the way. Her voice was promising and lovely. She couldn’t wait to leapfrog on to the stage. She had quite a presence on the stage. All the audience in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, gasped to see one so small sing like that. Her voice trembled and swelled and filled with colour. The frog was some opera singer.

5) The Frog Who Dreamt She Was an Opera Singer by Jackie Kay:

5) The Frog Who Dreamt She Was an Opera Singer by Jackie Kay There once was a frog who dreamed she was an opera singer. She wished so hard she grew a long throat (stress ‘so hard’?) and a beautiful polkadot green coat (look down – stress ‘beautiful’) and intense opera singer’s eyes. But she couldn’t grow tall. (shake head) She just couldn’t grow tall. (pause - shake head – slow down) She leaped to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, practising her sonata all the way. Her voice was promising and lovely. (use eyes and face to show the positives) She couldn’t wait to leapfrog on to the stage. She had quite a presence on the stage. (vary ‘on the stage’) All the audience in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, gasped to see one so small sing like that. (gasped) Her voice trembled and swelled and filled with colour. (pause) The frog was some opera singer. (show conviction?)

Books by Eleanor Farjeon:

Books by Eleanor Farjeon What worlds of wonder are our books! (tone and expression) As one opens them and looks, New ideas and people rise In our fancies and our eyes. The room we sit in melts away, (slow down the ‘melts away’) And we find ourselves at play (run-on line) With someone who, before the end, May become our chosen friend. Or we sail along the page (sail along – slow it down – dreamlike?) To some other land or age Here’s our body in the chair, (use eyes and head to indicate ‘here’ and ‘there’) But our mind is over there. Each book is a magic box (conviction – stress ‘magic’) Which with a touch a child unlocks. In between their outside covers Books hold all things for their lovers. (strong ending – or a quieter one?)

PowerPoint Presentation:

6) ‘Ambiguous’ poems – seeking the ‘right’ interpretation. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth. Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same. And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Punctuation:

Punctuation Use of commas, semi commas etc Capital letters – run on lines Use of dashes / pauses Use of … Stanzas and breaks Use of italics Use of speech marks etc Each one is deliberately used – get students to think why

Summary of key areas to focus on:

Summary of key areas to focus on Accurate pronunciation Voice Pacing and tone Is appropriate meaning conveyed? Is some enthusiasm, feeling and confidence shown? Does the student ‘own’ the piece he/she is presenting? Are facial expressions and gestures (if any) consistent with the mood and delivery of the poem?

Prose reading / speaking:

Prose reading / speaking Prose reading – must be read from the original book (not memorized) Prose speaking – must be memorized and read aloud without the book

PowerPoint Presentation:

Mr Wonka rushed on down the corridor. THE NUT ROOM, it said on the next door they came to. ‘All right,’ said Mr Wonka, ‘stop here for a moment and catch your breath, and take a peek through the glass panel of this door. But don’t go in! Whatever you do, don’t go into THE NUT ROOM! If you go in, you’ll disturb the squirrels!’ Everyone crowded around the door. ‘Oh look, Grandpa, look!’ cried Charlie. ‘Squirrels!’ shouted Veruca Salt. ‘Crikey!’ said Mike Teavee. It was an amazing sight. One hundred squirrels were seated upon high stools around a large table. On the table, there were mounds and mounds of walnuts, and the squirrels were all working away like mad, shelling the walnuts at a tremendous speed.

Supporting strategies for students :

Supporting strategies for students • Using a clean version of the text (double spaced) we can work on isolating the punctuation and seeing how it breaks up the text and enhances meaning of lines etc, • We can identify names and common nouns that might be difficult to pronounce; • Can we see any different accents or dialects being used? • We can consider the mood and tone of the piece. How do the characters feel? Do they change? If so, where? When? How? • Where do we place stress in lines? • Where are the adjectives / adverbs that add feeling and description to the piece? • How can we vary our tone and pace?

PowerPoint Presentation:

“And now,” said Lucy, “do please tell us what’s happened to Mr Tumnus.” “Ah, that’s bad,” said Mr Beaver, shaking his head. “That’s a very, very bad business. There’s no doubt he was taken off by the police. I got that from a bird who saw it done.” “But where’s he been taken to?” asked Lucy. “Well, they were heading northward when they were last seen and we all know what that means.” “No, we don’t,” said Susan. Mr Beaver shook his head in a very gloomy fashion. “I’m afraid it means they were taking him to her House,” he said. “But what’ll they do to him, Mr Beaver?” gasped Lucy.

PowerPoint Presentation:

“Well,” said Mr Beaver, “you can’t exactly say for sure. But there’s not many taken in there that ever comes out again. Statues. All full of statues they say it is – in the courtyard and up the stairs and in the hall. People she’s turned” – (he paused and shuddered) “turned into stone.” “But, Mr Beaver,” said Lucy, “can’t we – I mean we must do something to save him. It’s too dreadful and it’s all on my account.” “I don’t doubt you’d save him if you could, dearie,” said Mrs Beaver, “but you’ve no chance of getting into that House against her will and ever coming out alive.” “Couldn’t we have some stratagem?” said Peter. “I mean couldn’t we dress up as something – or watch till she has gone out –or – oh, hang it all, there must be some way. This Faun saved my sister at his own risk, Mr Beaver. We can’t just leave him to be – to be – to have that done to him.”

For teaching reading aloud skills:

For teaching reading aloud skills Expose students to authentic language through audiobooks, films, readings etc; Allow them to focus on the rhythm of prose; Allow students to read a text and listen to a reading of it at the same time – highlight stressed words, pauses etc; Record students reading their work aloud – let them hear themselves; Set up reading circles with students taking on different characters and roles in the set piece; Set up a buddy system with younger students being tutored by older students.

Good writers used every year – bring extracts from their work (and others like them) into the classroom throughout the year:

Good writers used every year – bring extracts from their work (and others like them) into the classroom throughout the year Roald Dahl Kenneth Grahame Lauren St John Michael Murpurgo Jane Austen C.S. Lewis

Thank you:

Thank you gharfitt@hkucc.hku.hk

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