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What is Elk Speech?

Elk Speech is a competitive, varsity team and Speech is a Minnesota State High School League activity. Speech team isn't just about giving the kind of speeches you see in class; it is about learning how to share your voice with the world - how to make sure your voice has an impact. We work hard, and we have fun. There is a place for everyone - whether you act or prefer more traditional speeches, this is an excellent place for you to perfect your skills, share your message, and explore new ideas!

How do I sign my child up for Speech?

Email as well as Ms. Harmer at to add your student's name to the team roster. Students could also join through showing up to Ms. Harmer's room to meet the team on day selected prior to season (for 2018-19, it was on December 3rd, 2018.) Beginning in December, coaches work with students to select competition categories, choose topics, create materials, and practice so that students are prepared for the first meet in mid-January. Students do not need to have a speech category selected to join the speech team; the coaches and student leadership will help with selection and preparation. 


You need to officially register your child for Speech during the spring season on ERHS Online Athletic and Activity Registration website. Once registered, the ERHS activity fee is posted to your RevTrak account to be paid. Registration and payment for the 2020 season is due around mid-January 2020.

How much does Speech cost?

It will vary depending on your child's role and category(ies) in Speech. All students pay the ERHS activity fee as this is a MSHSL activity. Registration and payment for the 2020 season is due around mid-January 2020.  It is common for students to wear business suits to perform, and they will also incur supply expenses during the season based on their category(ies). Travel team members will have additional tournament travel and registration fees. 


My child says they need X item- why?

There are several categories in which students can compete. These categories have specific requirements and some require supplies, like posterboards or binders. The Speech team does not collect booster fees from parents for students to participate; instead, each family funds the supply costs required for their own child. If the cost of an item prevents your child from participating, please let one of the coaches know. 


Can I watch my child compete?

Absolutely, so long as it is okay with your child. There is a long running joke that first year Speech students often tell their parents that competitions don't allow people to watch. They definitely do, but there are some important expectations for observers.

  1. Be a good audience member. Laugh when there are jokes, turn your phone off, smile at the speaker, nod encouragingly, don't make unnecessary noise. Public speaking is hard.

  2. Don't comment on any other speaker to your child, or mention anything your child has said to you at home about someone else while you're at the meet. Also, no comparisons or criticism.

  3. If your child doesn't want to talk to you at the meet, that's ok.  Each child gets in their zone differently. They have done the work and this is their space; we are guests. 


Tell me about this suit my child says they need to wear...?

Most students wear a business suit to present. Different categories and topics may warrant a certain color suit and your child should ask one of the senior team members for advice if needed. Suits can be expensive and there are ways to save money in this area; they should not need to be purchased at full-price as there are often department store sales. Suits can also be found on upcycle sites like Ebay and Facebook marketplace. 


How can I become more involved?

General calls for help are posted on our Facebook page when specific needs arise. If you have more ideas how we could use help or specific strengths to contribute (excellent editing skills? amazing crafter?), contact us at All ideas are welcome!

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