No matter how well your preparation is or how well you performed in your school’s mock spelling bees, if you fail to deliver at the main competition, all of the hard work you put in will end in vain.
Preparation is key, but taking your preparation and being able to deliver it is something participants often fail to achieve. Most of the attendees at the spelling bee fail to live up to their expectations, not because of their poor preparation, but because of their inability to make it count at the actual event.
There are a lot of spelling bee participants who, despite of their poor preparation, end up going quite far in the competition. All this is possible because of the skill or ability they have when it comes to facing the spelling bee. In this article, we will explore the steps that will enable you and all other participants to take on the spelling bee in the right way, and to face the competition head on.
Step 1: Knowing the rules and structure of the competition
Before you even get up on the stage, it is crucial that you know about the competition’s rules, regulations, and all other related guidelines. Remember, each competition is entitled to their own set of rules and regulations. Hence, it is important that you are fully aware of these rules and regulations.
If you are not familiar with these instructions before the day of the competition, do not worry. The host or panel at the spelling bee will surely announce the instructions at the start of the competition. Make sure you are paying attention to the competition announcements.
Step 2: Listen to the word carefully
As the host or announcer of the event dictates the word for you to spell out, make sure your full concentration is on him or her and the word being dictated. You will then be requested to spell out the word letter by letter.
Step 3: Clear out your confusions
It is natural that participants might fail to grasp the word at the very first attempt. In this case, feel free to ask the host to repeat the word.
If the arena is too noisy for you to listen to the dictation properly, you can let the host or panel know, and they will in turn, ask the audience to maintain silence. If you face problems with the host’s pronunciation, you can tell them about it as well.
Step 4: Ask them the meaning and/or root words
There are a lot of words that have the same pronunciation but their meanings are completely different from one another. These words are indeed very confusing to the participants who are likely to mistake one word for another.
In order to avoid such mistakes or confusions, ask the host to tell you the meaning of the provided word. If necessary, you can ask them to identify the root words for you as well. Do not hesitate to ask such questions as you have the full authority to do so. The panel at the spelling bee will in no way be annoyed at you or any other participants for asking such relevant questions.
Step 5: Tell them to use it in a sentence
Despite knowing the meaning of the word and its origin or root words, there is a chance that you will still not be able to understand it. It is also natural that you might want to know a bit more about the word before you proceed to spell it out. Under such circumstances, request the host to use the word in a sentence.
Participants familiarize themselves with the spelling bee words in a lot of ways. One such way is through the use of sentences. Thus, asking the panel or the host to use the provided word in a sentence can help you understand the word better which might just assist you in retaining its spelling.
Step 6: Avoid responding quickly, even if you are sure
Hurrying can lead to unforeseen problems. No matter how good you are at something, if you tend to do it quickly or in a hasty manner, chances are high that you are going to ruin it.
You will not be penalized for taking your time while spelling out the given word. Hence, you do not need to respond quickly, even if you are fully confident of the spelling. When you try to spell quickly, there lies the possibility that you will forget to say a letter or two, or you could misspell the word unknowingly. For instance, you may know the spelling of the word ‘e-x-a-g-g-e-r-a-t-e’. But, if you go on to spell it quickly, you might forget about the second ‘g’ in the spelling, or might spell it as ‘e-x-eg-g-e-r-a-t-e’. So you see, hurrying will not get you anywhere at the spelling bee.
Step 7: Write the word on your palm with your finger
Imagine that your finger is a pen or a pencil, and your other hand is a small piece of paper. When you are given the word by your host at the spelling bee, start writing it out one letter at a time in your palm with your other finger.
This helps you to visualize the word better and recognize any mistakes before you spell it out on stage. Also, try writing the words on your palm with your finger while you’re practicing for the spelling bee as this will help you to visualize the word better and get acquainted with the motions.
Step 8: Deliver the spelling confidently
This has more to do with your personal appeal than the actual spelling itself. However, delivering the spelling in a confident manner shows your boldness. It makes you stand out from the participants who are rather nervous. You might even end up having a fan club of your own!
Note: It is important for you to know the difference between confidence and arrogance.
Step 9: Stay mentally prepared for harder words
As you make progress at the spelling bee, it is natural that the words you will be facing will only get harder. From one syllable to di-syllables, to words that have a lot of silent letters, your spelling bee will keep on getting harder and harder.
It is thus important for you to be on your toes. To be prepared for anything they throw at you. Remember, you have trained for this. You know that it is going to come for you. You just have to be mentally prepared to take it head on.
As you can tell, facing a spelling bee is not that easy. However, if you follow these steps, you will surely do a lot better in facing the challenges. So go out there and have a go at the spelling bee head on, with full confidence!
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Best of luck, champ!
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