Manda Thomas - email@example.com
BJ Schuller - firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Visscher - email@example.com
Tawnua Tenley - firstname.lastname@example.org
Spread the news about your team via social media, word of mouth, newsletters, announcements, classrooms, freshmen orientation or similar events (we had an activities fair for 9th and 10th graders this year). Whenever possible, use your veteran squad members as ambassadors to your program. That way, they can give first-hand accounts of what it is like to be involved. Additionally, a hesitant student may talk more readily (and candidly) to a fellow student before she or he would to a coach.
● Ask students to perform for their classes when possible (with teacher permission) as another way to rehearse for an audience AND as a way for the rest of the school to see how much fun the speech team is.
● Have your students perform for the middle school classes during the school day as a practice. Most middle school teachers are very open to this. Then, when those middle-schoolers get to high school, they have already had exposure to what it is all about.
● If you have an active FFA chapter or 4H, coordinate with that advisor/teacher to have their district competition preparations coincide with those of speech. Some of the categories for their competitions are nearly identical to ours.
● Volunteer your speech performers to provide the homecoming skits; pep rally vignettes can also be a popular avenue.
● If your town has things like summer festivals in the park, get some of your speech groups on the program there, too.
Dancers, gymnasts and performers in band and choir are also great kids to enlist. Seek them out by going to their performances and asking those coaches and instructors to help spread your message.
If you hold tryouts for your events (particularly large group), institute the buddy system of two or more per tryout. Often friends and acquaintances will come along to “read” with them. You can always recruit a handful from this approach.
On those opening meetings, provide snacks. Seriously, kids love food. We had our introductory meeting last week, and one student mentioned how much she loves the first meeting because I always bring trail mix, cookies, and fruit.
● Everyone who isn’t performing or warming up goes to see their teammates’ events at contest--We are a team and we support one another!