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Marist student finishes second in national speech tournament

Kelly Collins  |  Supplied photo

Kelly Collins | Supplied photo

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Updated: September 11, 2014 6:02AM



Marist High School rising junior Kelly Collins finished second in the nation at the National Catholic Forensic League Grand Tournament, which was held in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend.

She competed in qualifying tournaments to advance to the national level, and was also the Chicago Catholic Forensic League Grand Champion.

“I enjoy competing because performing is challenging,” Collins said. “I love to speak and act, and competitions make class presentations seem like nothing. However, I think that making the connection with the audience is my favorite part.”

Collins, of Blue Island, has been involved with speech and acting since sixth grade, including her first two years at Marist. Speech — or forensics — competitions include a variety of categories that can be individual or duet and span a range of styles. Competitors are judged by a panel of coaches and experts.

To prepare, Collins said she met with her team and coaches two to three days a week and practices on her own.

During the year, Collins competed in dramatic duet acting, but oratorical declamation is what brought her to the top at Nationals.

In this category, competitors must memorize a speech and are critiqued on style, delivery, and other factors. Collins memorized Brene Brown’s Ted Talk “Listening to Shame,” which addresses moving past the feelings of shame and helping others do the same, using empathy.

Next season, she plans to compete in oratorical declamation and original oratory, the latter of which she will get to write her own speech.

Staff report



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