Some Tips for Speech Choir

To be able to present a good speech choir, keep in mind the following:

  1. Teach the students pronunciation. Simply use a dictionary that has a pronunciation guide to it. Refer to its pronunciation key which you can find on its introductory pages to determine how a word is pronounced. If you are still unsure of its pronounciation, you can listen to it at http://www.howjsay.com.
  2. Teach them stress and intonation. You can refer to your English Expressways II book pages 64-65. Things such as rising intonation and falling intonation are crucial in speech choir. Which word to be stressed depends also on your intended meaning. Furthermore you can listen to a lecture by Peter Roach on this topic:
  3. A good number for speech choir is 40 members. But you can have 20-25 participants if so desired.
  4. The contest piece is often a poem.
  5. Divide your participants into three voices: light, medium and dark. Light voices are often chosen from the first year females. Medium are also females with deep voices (preferably from the fourth year). Dark are of course only males with very deep voices. There should also be a solo for each voice: solo light, solo medium and solo dark.
  6. Arrange the contest piece before giving it to your participants. This means that you have already assigned parts for each voice, for the solo and for the unison (meaning all three voices). Keep in mind though that even if all three voices speak together but their voices should be clearly distinct from each other.  This is called blending.
  7. Memorize the piece. If you are the conductor, the more you should memorize it. Before giving the contest piece to your participants, see to it that you have double-checked its pronunciation in the dictionary or the web.
  8. Drill into your participants to feel the piece. Their facial expression should reflect what they are speaking. Facial expressions can’t be taught. It should come from within. It should not look artificial but should come from their hearts.
  9. Deliver with the intent to be understood; hence, for conventional speech choir, actions and props are unnecessary. Simply standing with hands on their sides is enough. What counts are the voice and the facial expression.  Remember the audience should understand what you are talking about.
  10. The conductor may stand at the back of the judges. He may conduct in any manner he wants as long as he is able to guide his participants for an effective speech choir presentation.
  11. Speech choir participants should only look at the conductor the whole time of their presentation. They should not fidget or make unnecessary moves throughout their delivery. Nevertheless they should not be standing tensed in front of the crowd but relaxed. Below is a picture of Consolacion National High School – Day Class participants. They were the champion in the Northeast Area Level Speech Choir Competition this year. Look how they stand:
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49 Comments

  1. thank you ma’am Fritz…. by d way, is it okay to have a short drama for our entrance???

    • usually a conventional speech choir discourages the use of any drama, that includes the entrance

      • Rico Saavedra

        Mam I would like to have a copy of the guidelines for conventional speech choir. Pls do send me. Thank you.

  2. jovynard

    humming is not adviseable,right? but is it okay tp input sound effects like gush of wing a bubble pop?…those are’nt considered humming right?

    • usually in the guidelines for a conventional speech choir, any form of sound effects other than those inherent in the words themselves are discouraged. What you can do instead is to exaggerate the sounds of some words. For example, with the word ringing, you may exaggerate the -ing sound, so it will sound like a real bell ringing.

  3. i don’t have to ask anything… thanks for the tips!!! may god bless you and more power!!! :)

  4. hello po :))
    Actually I don’t have any idea on handling a speech choir. group leader po kasi ako. kinakabahan po ako because I don’t know what to do with my group.
    pwede po ba naming lagyan ng konting humming and song ung speech choir? choir member po kasi ako ng church namin..

  5. Berna

    is it good to hear when some of the lines are to be sung?

  6. ruel

    how is verse choir different from speech choir??

  7. chillnee dominguez

    hi maam..can you help me?im looking for a speech choir piece about christmas. can you give me some recommendations?thanks a lot!

  8. Michele

    could some lines in the speech choir be sung?

    • NO.

      • Hartmann

        why no?

  9. Malyn

    Is it ok to repeat some words or phrases in the piece to give emphasis?

    • yes it is ok to repeat words in a speech choir. Actually that would serve as your refrain. It’s somewhat similar to music.

  10. lilia jaime

    hank you for the tips. i dont have to ask my question because i already found the answer while reading your responses.

  11. Alyssa Banzuelo

    What are the arrangements or positions during a speech choir? and where do i find their definitions??? …. :)

    • the arrangement of voices in a speech choir depends on you as the conductor. Usually, group all dark voices between the light and the medium voices. Light – Dark – Medium. Your rule of thumb is all voices should be heard by the judges distinctly.

  12. ..thanks for the tips! I’ll use it for my report and I’m sure it will help us a lot…

  13. this is such a great help to our group..,.,
    tnk u ms. FRITZ.,.,. may God Bless u.,.,
    As u share ur blessings to us/.,.,

  14. aimz

    yehey naa na website para sa speech choir anhi na mi mag get ug infos…….
    galinga nmo maam fritzie uie…..

  15. Your tips is so helpful to our group.
    Especially now, were going to present a speech choir tomorrow.
    thanks a lot ….
    muaaaaahhhh…

  16. ghie

    thanks for the tips..GOD BLESS…

  17. kier

    this is a great help! thank you so much! :)

  18. akosimoike

    thanks!

  19. annabelle

    does speech choir has actions?….

    • very minimal action only.

      • Ramona

        thank you po.

  20. manilyn

    thanks for the tips… now i have an idea about a speech choir… :)

  21. rachelle ann

    the tips are helpful lalo na sa mga bagong susubok na sumali sa isang speech choir

  22. jhum

    thanks 4 the tips …. now i know how to teach my group!!:)

  23. rejn

    thanks! a big thanks to you! :)
    i have a question.
    does speech choir needs background musics and props? or additional words ?

    • Conventional speech choir must not have any background music or props. You should not edit the piece or add additional words.

    • Conventional speech choir must not have any background music or props. You should not edit the piece or add additional words.

  24. rejn

    thank you for the helpful info.. :)
    i have a question.
    does speech choir needs background musics and props? or additional words ?

  25. painabi

    is a conductor required in speech choirs?

    • A conductor is not necessary if you are sure that your choir members really know their parts well but most often those who win in the speech choir contest has a conductor. A conductor helps direct the focus of your members. Personally, I would recommend having a conductor.

  26. Emely L. Gatab

    Ma’am hi!
    I would be very glad if you could email me an example of speech choir that talks on nature.

    Thank you

    • A speech choir piece is preferably a poem. There are so many poems on nature. Try to arrange Wordsworth’s poem for speech choir using the 3 voices.

  27. KEVIN

    this is a very helpful info for me,…especially,..when i am the leader and conductor of 40 members,

    ;-S

    • Glad to help.

  28. I’m happy that I was able to read about speech choir. The presentation was so clear and well understood.

  29. thanks for the info.. it help alot. . .:-)

    • thans:-)

      • glad to help

      • wow thanks for the tips it can really help me for my verse choir on tuesday. hope me luck

      • :-)

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