There are a number of reasons why debaters should consider interpretation events. Structure is not enough. It’s just not. How many times have we seen a United States President, for example, interviewed or participate in a well planned debate and knew exactly what they were going to say? We knew the issues they’d discuss and the words they’d frequently use. We could anticipate if the speech would provide new information or if it would simply restate what we already knew.
When an argument is being made, an introduction, the attention grabbing device, examples and the conclusion are important. The preview of what will be stated is a great addition as well. Hand gestures play a part in shaping a speech. But, what makes you stand out amongst other speakers equipped with structure in their speeches just like you do? If you’re not competing but want to be remembered, interpretation helps with offering something unexpected in non-interpretive speech events. Interpretation helps students build emotionalization skills to the point that adding gestures and voice inflections to a speech becomes instinctual. Using your own emotion in authentic ways as tools to connect with the audience creates a connection. With the use of personality, humor, emotion or authenticity the message has a greater impact. The audience is able to connect and relate to the person delivering it. Think of your comfort level as an icebreaker standing between you getting your audience engaged. Increased levels of comfort suggest that the speaker’s fear has been removed to some degree and the audience and speaker have a committed level of interaction.
The use of expressions is not something that should be used without intention. It’s not enough to raise your eyebrows a few times and show a few corny smiles. An audience can be keen to authenticity. Expressions have impact, if they are used in authentic ways. During tournaments, 6 competitors may face each other in final rounds for Impromptu. One competitor may stand out more than the others because of their use of these tools. They may use expressions and emotions in a way that make sense. They don't force them. They were natural, gradual and authentic to what is being expressed. These expressions may be timely so that they become impactful to the audience.
The use of silence is also a great tool. In fact, silence is used every day by friends, enemies, parents and in business. The use of silence can heighten the message by empowering actions or statements made pre or post the silence. Silence can also increase the passion and intention behind a message. It can be used to express empathy, anger, humor, sadness and even time.
It doesn’t matter if a student that normally competes in debate goes for Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation or Oratorical Interpretation. Each offers a chance for them to learn tools that can help get closer to their audience and have an impact on them as well. The benefits of getting this experience would help empower competitors so that they can be remembered when it matters most.
The Golden State Academy