Here at AFI, we understand that students who attend speech camps are ready to take their performances to a new level. Based on cutting-edge research on willpower, motivation, success and competition, our curriculum is specifically designed to teach students to match even the most elite performers. We know you want to be the best- and we will help you get there.

Day One: Understanding the Fundamentals of Success

We often watch speeches at national tournaments or online and marvel at how incredible they are. However, without understanding what it is that makes a speech incredible, we cannot know how to become our own speech role models. During the first night of AFI, students will work with our esteemed staff to identify what creates success for them individually, in their region, and at any national tournament they wish to attend

Day Two: Finding Memorable Topics

The first step to building an incredible performance is starting with the right topics and literature. This year at AFI, we are taking several steps to ensure we can provide students with incredible literature and thought-provoking topics. Each staff member is given funding to purchase brand new, exciting literature which they believe will work well for high school speech students. Because all of our literature is read ahead of time, students in interpretation categories should have plenty of options to choose from that will fit their region and individual skills. In public address, students will be given access to the University of Alabama databases, and each staff member will be providing articles which have been pre-read. Limited prep students will focus on improving filing skills to ensure the sources they cite are credible and unique. Students will learn to read a script or an article and see a vision of the future performance, a skill they can pass onto their teammates upon returning home.

Day Three: Establishing Effective Structure

After selecting an excellent script or topic, students will move on to the cutting or outlining process. Our curriculum has been developed exclusively by staff with previous experience in national out-rounds, and lectures will go beyond the basics of dramatic structure to teach students unique techniques and tips and tricks for creating a cutting that will stand out in a tough round. Public address lectures include both tried and true rhetorical theories as well as cutting edge research in the fields of psychology and persuasion. During day three, students in limited prep will delve into the process of outlining a speech quickly and effectively.

Interpretation students will focus on taking the speech from the page to the stage. Performances are made memorable through unique choices, and everything from characters to scene to well-placed pauses can make or break a performance. Our goal at AFI is to teach students to brainstorm and prototype a variety of choices, so that they can bring their own creativity to the performance as well as continue to change their choices throughout the season.

Public address students will focus on language development. Through the use of creative writing exercises and even poetry prompts, AFI aims to develop writing skills within our students that can last them for years to come. Students will focus on what emotion they aim to create within their audience, and master the method needed to ensure their speeches are as beautiful as they are interesting.

Limited prep students will focus on quality analysis and making unique choices when presenting arguments. Day Four marks a shift in focus from background information gathering, to actual delivery of speeches. Students will begin cycling from staff member to staff member, ensuring perfection through repetition and gathering a wide variety of perspectives and reactions to their speeches.

Day Four:  Making Unique Choices

Day Five: Creating Feeling in Your Audience

During Day Five, students will have the option of attending a variety of individualized lectures on specific performance techniques. Topics will include:

PUBLIC ADDRESS/LIMITED PREPARATION: Non-Verbal Communication, Facial Expressions, Vocal Inflection, Posture and Confidence, Persuasive Emphasis, Informative Emphasis, Audience Analysis.

INTERPRETATION: Popping, Melding, Becoming Comfortable With Silence, Realistic Pantomime, Humorous Pantomime, Rules of Comedy, Sound Effects, Character Development, Effective Non-Verbals, Program Tech

Day Six: Becoming Elite through Polish

During the final two days of camp, students will have ample time to receive 1 on 1 coaching with all staff members. However, the focus of this day is not to polish the performance, but to teach students effective practice techniques. From mirror work to recording to peer practicing, students will be given the opportunity to use all the resources the nationally ranked Alabama Forensic Council uses to ensure success on a big stage. Students will also get an opportunity to practice in a large performance space, to ensure they are ready for their future final rounds.