HKSMSA Speech festival? Don't worry: Help is at Hand!

The best advice I ever received about competitions was from a racing driver! "Don't focus on winning, focus on developing your talent; treat every race like another practice session. If you win, great! If you don't, you learn from your mistakes."

Brilliant advice and something that parents can keep in mind when helping their student prepare for the speech festivals. Remember: there is only one winner but every participant can learn from the experience.

When you first get the poem, read it through together and work out what the story of your piece is. Have your child retell the story to you, using their own words, so you can help them to really understand what tone the poem needs.

The most important step in your preparation is helping your child to memorise their poem. Once they know it upside down and back to front, now you can start to add colour. Think of adding variation in volume, pitch, pace and don't forget facial expressions. If the latter are elusive, try to practice in front of a mirror!

Have fun with the poem: your child's developing confidence will stay with them long after the competition has been forgotten.

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