Daily Archives: September 9, 2011

Wanted: Titles of Compelling Books

Dear Daughter is a speechie.  Speechies need compelling stories to cut into compelling speeches.  Henceforth the call for book titles of compelling reads.

 So, what makes a great speech book?

  • Compelling Content.  Or rather, engaging stories that have emotional moments.  A speech is created by cutting passages and piecing them together in a way that tells a story.  No genre should be dismissed as long as emotional impact exists–whether the content makes the reader laugh or cry.  An example of compelling content is A Child Called It.
  • Compelling Characters.  Audience connection is so important in a speech.  Speechies literally perform in front of judges.  Speechies become the character, while the speech itself is the character’s plea to be heard.  Compelling characters: Katniss at Rue’s death in The Hunger Games.
  • Compelling Voice.  Humor, hate, frustration, love, heartache.  All these things can be present in a good speech, but the voice must be strong enough to carry the content.  Can the audience feel the character based on the words he uses?  If so, this would make a good speech.  Example: Susanna Kaysen’s memoir, Girl Interrupted.

Competitive speech is made up of different categories.  Humor, prose, drama (plays), duos (two speechies), poetry, etc.  It is especially difficult to pin down a good book for prose.  It takes time to read through novels and/or memoirs until a speechie finds the right fit.  Because of this, I’m developing a resource list in hopes of helping our speechies more easily sift through the abundance of titles on the shelves.

What I need from you: Titles of books that moved you (joyfully or tragically) and a brief quip on why/how the book impacted you.  If you can give a specific example, that would be great, but not necessary.

Thanks so much!