Note: I have decided to consolidate my writing from other sites to this blog. This piece was originally posted at Helium.
I have experience competing in, coaching and judging speech competitions. As a have witnessed several traumatic speaking experiences.
In one competition that I was judging a young man totally froze in front of the judges. He walked into the room and then just stood there. We were not able to rush him or ask him questions. That was a very long 5 minute period.
One of the most humorous experiences happened when I was in college and was judging a high school speech tournament. I was sent to a room as a back-up judge because the assigned judge did not show up. When I entered the room, I asked if everyone was ready to begin. One of the guys popped off that they were just waiting on the judge. Further he elaborated on how he was going to win the contest so I could just leave. I grinned and responded that I was the judge of course he didn’t believe me. A few minutes later when the supervisor arrived and handed me the judging sheets this kid started turning red. When it was his turn he was never able to regain his composure.
// The most traumatic experience happened when I was competing in an interpretive reading event in high school. For some reason of the one contestant had chosen to read a very graphic piece about the Donner Expedition. Not only did it gross out most of the contestants the judge started turning green and had to leave the room.