Speech students prepare for state

Princeton High School speech team members Gino Fraboni, Brian Kunz and Kenny Cowles.

Princeton High School speech students Brian Kunz, Gino Fraboni and Kenny Cowles are preparing for this Saturday’s Class AA state high school speech meet in Chanhassen. Speech coach Thor Mattick has been meeting with the students after school to help them get ready.

Kunz, a junior, is in the discussion category; Cowles, also a junior, is in extemporaneous speaking and Fraboni, a sophomore, is in storytelling.

High school speech meets consist of three preliminary rounds and a final round.

Competitors in discussion compete in small group discussions and the subject chosen this year is world hunger. Discussion students study up on the topic and collect materials to bring to the meet either in a binder as Kunz does, or on a laptop computer. Discussion students are judged on attitude, ethics, information and evidence, leadership, listening skills, reasoning and analysis, and speaking skills.

The judges look at who makes the most positive contributions to the group to solve the problem put up for discussion, coach Mattick said last week. “It’s not always the one who talks the most or leads the discussion,” Mattick added. “Sometimes a leader will take  you in the wrong direction.”

Discussion participants are expected to have materials to contribute and to be able to cite sources, Mattick noted.

There are many hindrances in working to reduce world hunger, in which one in every seven people worldwide do not receive the needed nourishment of 2,700 calories per day, Mattick said. Among the hurdles to getting needed food to people, he said, are climates, farming techniques, pollution, distribution difficulties and trade barriers, he noted.


Extemporaneous speaking

This category is like many in speech in which the student draws three topics, subjects or stories before each round begins and chooses one from the three to use. None of the three drawn may be used in a subsequent round.

The subjects that are drawn in extemp speaking are in one of two categories – United States and international.

Among the issues domestically are Social Security, U.S. Supreme Court, crime and law enforcement, human rights, labor-management relations, economics, environment, energy, population, health and education. International topics include some of the same but also include international leaders, military alliances, trade issues and policies and many other topics of global concern.

Extemp speaking students can use a note card with a maximum of 50 symbols, words or characters and must be able to cite sources, Mattick noted.



All students in this category are to tell a story from the 15 stories in the unabridged Grimm’s fairy tales. The competitors memorize the stories and must tell the story within six minutes. If a person were to read one of the stories as written it would take 8-10 minutes so the challenge is to tell it in six minutes while still staying true to the what the author wrote, Mattick said.

“I’m very proud of them,” Mattick said of Fraboni, Cowles and Kunz. “All three worked exceptionally hard all year and have done a wonderful job. I expect them to do well (at state).”