5 Ways to Improve Your Creed Speaking

January 15, 2013 15 Comments

5 Ways to Improve Your Creed Speaking

Many Creed Speakers make the mistake of focusing the bulk of their energy on memorizing the FFA Creed, but becoming a successful at the FFA Creed CDE involves much more.  Once you have conquered reciting the FFA Creed correctly, you need to work to make yourself stand out from the competition.  Looking at the CDE scorecard you may notice that although you lose points for missing words, the actual scoring is based on Oral Communication, Non-verbal Communication, and Question Answers. 

You need to understand that the Creed is more than reciting the correct words.  40% of the points come from eye contact, mannerisms, gestures, and poise.  Speaking without hesitation, pace, tone, pronunciation, and volume contributes another 20% of the total score.  The other 40% of the points are awarded for answering the questions comfortably, in detail, and with specific examples.  So how can you improve your score in these areas?  Let's look at five ways to develop your Creed Speaking skills.

 
1. Know the meaning of the vocabulary used in the FFA Creed.  It is difficult to answer a question about "agricultural pursuits" if you don't know what a pursuit is.  So spend some time looking up definitions and synonyms for key words in the Creed.  Discuss what you think they mean with your advisor and other adults to ensure that you understand them correctly.  Some words to start with are: engaged, pursuits, inborn, associations, efficiently, secure, progressive, toil, abundant, square (meanings beyond a four-sided object), exert, and traditions.
2. Anticipate the questions that will be asked.  Search the web for Creed questions.  Ask your advisor for questions that have been used in previous CDEs.  Read the Creed and try to come up with your own questions.  Then (here's the most important part), write out your answers.  Why should you write out your answers?  Not only will it help you collect your thoughts, but also taking the time to write down your answers will show if you truly understand the question.  Have your advisor and other adults read your answers and give you their opinion.

3. Make a list of the important concepts in the Creed and then list your own personal experiences that correspond to each one. Think of as many specific examples as you can but remember that it can be anyone in your family's experience too.  Relate each example like a short story.  Stories are memorable.  Vague references are not.

4. Practice making your gestures and movements natural. Creed speakers are easily sorted into three categories: little to no gestures, stiff or overly rehearsed gestures, and natural gestures and movements.  Gestures and movements that are too forced, used too repetitively, or are overdone can be big distractions.  

5. Feel the emotion.  A good Creed speaker will give you chill bumps. Believe in the words you are saying and let that emotion show through.  Make the judges feel that that you DO know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life.  Changing your voice's pitch, pace, and force can lend more emotion to the words. 

And it should go without saying...practice, practice, practice.  And then practice some more.  Practice in front of the mirror, have someone video you or set it up yourself, say the Creed to anyone (absolutely anyone) that will stand still and listen for three minutes.  Don't give up or be too hard on yourself.  Just be persistent. 

Good luck and have fun!


15 Responses

Brian
Brian

February 13, 2017

Outstanding Madisen. Keep practicing and you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll be at the next round.

Madisen
Madisen

February 02, 2017

I just got through district for creed and now I have to improve on those little extra things that will get me points.

Brian
Brian

December 21, 2016

Raina -

Practice, practice, and practice some more. That’s the best way to memorize. Practice to your animals even stuffed animals. They don’t laugh or judge and they are always smiling.

Good luck,

Brian

Raina E
Raina E

December 12, 2016

I will be doing a Creed speaking here soon in February. I’m extremely nervous and I struggle to memorize things.

Brian
Brian

July 25, 2016

Awesome Zachary. Good luck and enjoy the moment.

Zachary Mayfield
Zachary Mayfield

July 24, 2016

I will be competing at National Convention in the Creed CDE. Can’t wait!!!

Brian
Brian

June 21, 2016

Great Carly, glad we could help. Keep practicing and you’ll do great.

Carly B
Carly B

June 20, 2016

Thank you for these tips! They were a huge help and really opened my eyes they will really help me compete.

Erin Willis
Erin Willis

November 02, 2015

Thanks! I make my gestures too forced, so I will start with less. You’re a great help!

Brian
Brian

November 02, 2015

Good luck Cassidy. There’s no replacement for practice. Find anyone who will sit down for 5 minutes and listen to you recite the Creed. Anyone, anywhere, anytime. You will be shocked the difference that it will make.

kassidy
kassidy

November 01, 2015

This is my first year of creed speaking and i absolutly want to be great! So thank you for the advice.

Amonica
Amonica

March 09, 2015

Thanks! This was lots of help!

Travis berryhill
Travis berryhill

December 03, 2014

I’m going to state for creed speaking on the 5th and your advice helps greatly thank you

Brianna
Brianna

December 02, 2014

This was great help!

Stephanie
Stephanie

March 26, 2014

Thanks! This really helped me out alot. I’m going to State Creed Speaking in May and really wanted to step up my game :)

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