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WHS graduate earns win to end speaking career with Carroll

by HEIDI DESCH
Daily Inter Lake | March 17, 2021 1:00 AM

Teigen Tremper recently closed out her four-year career in public speaking for the Carroll College Talking Saints by winning the open impromptu speaking competition.

Tremper, a 2017 Whitefish High School graduate, serves as the Saints forensics team president and began her career in speaking while still in high school.

“I loved speech and debate all throughout high school and when I got to Carroll I didn’t want to stop so I got connected with the team here,” she said on the phone from Helena.

Tremper’s win came at the Northwest Forensics Conference championship, which also marked the 31st consecutive year the Carroll team has won or shared the regional crown.

Tremper also competed in impromptu speaking in high school. Though there are differences between the high school and college level competitions, speakers in impromptu are given a quote or topic to speak about and then given roughly two to three minutes to prepare a five minute speech.

Tremper says she enjoys the pressure that comes with impromptu speaking. She also competes in debate for Carroll.

“You do well when you care what you’re talking about and for me knowing a lot about obscure books and history along with being able to apply it to something bigger really works when it comes to impromptu,” she said. “It’s short and quick and if you bungle it, then it’s only seven minutes of your life.”

But impromptu isn’t for everyone, Tremper notes.

“There’s a huge time crunch and it can be a lot of pressure,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of people break under that pressure, but you can pick it up and try again.”

Tremper, who is a senior at Caroll majoring in communications, is hoping to stay in Helena after graduation and take a gap year while helping out the team.

Competing virtually this year, the team stayed at home in Helena competing via computer screens in classrooms at Caroll. Tremper says it was a unique experience, but she was glad to have the opportunity to compete at all.

In her last winning speech, Tremper gave a speech on how communication can bring unity in a year of divisiveness and isolation in responding to a quote that presented the idea that one person speaking precludes another from speaking.

During her speech, Tremper relayed the words of inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, who delivered a poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the thoughts of philosopher Martin Buber and added in a story about the Mars rover singing itself happy birthday in 2013, to bring across her point that communication is what unites everyone.

“Communication is how we build society and we would not have a relationship without it,” Tremper recalled about her speech. “I was able to speak about what I really care about and have fun. In a year when things haven’t been great there’s still been those few moments where we get to have fun.”

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