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Wednesday Claps with Coach Wiley #6: 5 Reasons to Compete in the 2024 aSync Spring Spectacular Speech Tournament

The sixth of weekly Wiley Wednesday Speech and Debate blogs explores five reasons why coaches and competitors should consider participation in the aSync Spring Spectacular Speech Tournament this Spring.

I've been thinking about those initial COVID days a whole lot. I mean, I know that COVID is not gone by a longshot and that the impact of the virus is barely understood, but I've been thinking back to those days at the beginning of the virus when the world felt totally flipped upside-down. I spent so many hours in the dark basement of my home trying to connect with the Speech and Debate community in new virtual ways. We were all stuck in our isolated worlds, desperately trying to find social connection and unique ways to continue to encourage student voice and competition.

Those days were really where One Clap found life, in the midst of online competitions and communications. And while the online medium is not without issues and nothing can replace a live and in-person competition, online competitions are not without merit! They can still be a valuable way for students to supplement competition today.

In this week's blog, we're diving into the world of asynchronous speech tournaments, and why you should definitely consider being a part of the action. One Clap Speech and Debate is once again sponsoring the aSync Spring Spectacular, and I'm going to give you five reasons why you should think about joining in the fun this spring!

CLAP 1: Flexible Competition with Supplemental Events

One of the most appealing aspects of asynchronous tournaments is the unparalleled flexibility they offer. Not bound by rigid schedules or geographic constraints, competitors can craft and deliver their speeches on their own time (with a deadline, of course), from anywhere in the world. Whether you're a night owl or an early bird, asynchronous tournaments bend to accommodate your schedule, making it easier than ever to participate. Plus, the Spring Spectacular offers events for high school and middle school students and includes supplemental events offered at the National Tournament. The costs for entry of the Spring Spectacular are affordable too!

CLAP 2: Sharpen Your Skills for Now and Later

Practice is the foundation of impactful performance, and what better way to hone your speechcraft than by competing in asynchronous tournaments? Recording your events is always an excellent way to fine-tune your delivery and execution in interpretive and platform events. The recording gives you an opportunity to see yourself in action - a process that can be painful at times, but gives you a chance to watch your own delivery and performance in a more objective way. Whether you are preparing for the National Tournament in Des Moines this June or working towards improving your skills for next season, the Spring Spectacular can help you grow and improve through practice and the process of creating your best recording for competition.

CLAP 3. Embrace Innovation and Archive Your Voice

In the digital age, innovation is key, and asynchronous tournaments allow you to both embrace technology to create in a different medium and to archive your performance. Anytime you shift your medium (in this case from in-person performance to a recorded screen - a box in which you can explore your limits), you have the chance to try out something new with your performance. For example, will you try to accentuate your face and move closer to frame? Will you try to use whole body movements in a unique way on the screen? Asynchronous tournaments offer a playground for innovation and experimentation. Also, however you choose to record your unique voice, a recording is an archived version of a meaningful piece that you have lovingly brought into existence. You will be glad to have these recorded moments in the future, I promise!

CLAP 4. Foster Community and Collect Meaningful Feedback

While asynchronous tournaments may lack the in-person interaction of traditional competition, there are still opportunities to connect with others through sharing pieces and ideas. One of the amazing things about competing in Speech is that you have the chance to communicate something important to you with others in a way that is uniquely you. Plus, the Spring Spectacular emphasizes meaningful feedback, encouraging judges to take their time to give actionable ideas for improvement as well as positive reinforcement to each competitor.

CLAP 5. Celebrations Galore!

Last but certainly not least, we know how to celebrate Spring Spectacular participants in style! With colorful and individualized online announcements and cool ribbons, competitors are recognized for their hard work and dedication. All finalists will be sent ribbons and stickers. Plus, all event champions may have the possibility of doing a brief interview and being featured on the One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast with me! Several winners from last year's tournament were featured guests at Camp One Clap!

So, what are you waiting for? Step into the spotlight and let your voice be heard in the aSync Spring Spectacular Speech Tournament! I hope to see you there!



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