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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
  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:

63 thoughts on “Some Tips for Speech Choir

  1. thank you very much maam..
    this blogs is very informative…
    i am the leader of our group um handling 70 students…
    our piece is FOOT PRINTS IN THE SAND…
    IS OK if we use uv lights for the intro to give credits and emphasize to the title…

  2. Hi Ms. Fritz, thank you for this information. I am actually having trouble on how to conduct a 35 member speech choir as we have limited time and resources. I think I can recommend the conventional approach for “Reverse Creation” by Bernard Backman. I’ve seen lots in Youtube, and all acts have lots of movements, drama and props. What do you think? Thank you again. God bless you more!

  3. Ma’am, some help please. We were assigned to do the piece of Carl Sandburg “wilderness” and the worst is it’s our first time to so this.

    Any suggestions would
    Be much appreciated.. Thanks

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

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

  5. 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..

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

  7. umm…You know,I’m the leader of our group but frankly I don’t know a thing about speech choirs and all that stuff.This is really a big help to me because since I’m not into this stuff and my group is suffering because I’m not a good leader at all.I don’t execute steps well and I don’t listen to my Assistant.In fact,I suck at performance,at practice and everything.That’s why I need this.Anyhow,with this,we might beat the other team which has experience.Wish us luck and Thanks a lot!!

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

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

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

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