[A/B] Declamation – Focusing on What is Said (and Speaking Through What is Unsaid)

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

Oct 05

A declamation is a memorized speech of a speech that has been given at least once by another person. The goal is not to give the speech as the original person; rather, it is to interpret the ideas of the speech and re-give it in such a way that the ideas, values, beliefs, and assumptions of the original speech are accentuated and magnified. It is a chance for the "new speaker" to attempt to improve upon the speech with his or her own voice.

By focusing on what is said - both through the literal words as well as through the verbal and nonverbal qualities of public speaking, each child is improving upon his and her public voice.

There are more speeches to be given - a process that could take another week - but many students have excelled in picking speeches of quality and enhancing that quality by adding their own voice. Some examples are "I've Been on the Mountaintop ," "How to Live Before You Die," "You Are Not Special," "The Gettysburg Address," and various other speeches.

As students prepare to write their own speeches, it is appropriate that they practice communicating the dreams and ideas of other speakers, and as they do this, they will be better prepared and equipped to communicate, argue, and debate their own dreams.​

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