Lets Go Speech and Debate!

Standing in front of a group of classmates, eyes are blinking, mouth is dry, sweating like a pig. All signs of nervousness. That’s exactly how most people feel when they have to do a speech. It gets us all.

But most kids from Speech and Debate team get a thrill out of it. It’s all in being able to get the skill to be comfortable to speak in front of an audience. That’s what Mr. Howard, the organizer of the Speech and Debate team explained. It’s also useful in many occupations as well as learning some new skills.

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It is a CHSAA sectioned event, which means students need to keep up with their grades to stay eligible. Its also a team that travels a lot to go to different meets, its a whole wide spectrum. There are many different types of speeches and debates the team does for their meets: Debates which are defending and arguing to acting such as improptu speaking and creative storytelling, also including original oratory. The speeches are for the speaker to convince the audience to agree with their opinion. The judge can give a student a topic and they get five minutes to prepare and three minutes to talk.

The team meets and prepares weekly for the meets as they give each other feedback. It’s a great, small, young team at the moment and anyone can join! For anything, being able to speak publicly is useful. The team competes against all schools in state and awards and trophies are given out to the best speeches and debates. The meets are on Saturdays at various high schools. There are two events a student can participate in, a morning and afternoon.

The meets can be a qualifier for state. There are four meets this year and the goal is to have someone qualify for state which no one has done yet. One person however, won an event during last years season. The season starts in September and is finished by January. The entire team goes to the main meets during the season but only the qualifier or qualifiers for state will continue on to state if anyone makes it there.

Most events can be prepared for, but some can’t. Like creative storytelling. The judge gives the student three topics and he or she will have to act it out as an improptu speech. There is also solo and duet acting which the students have to memorize a scene from a script and act it out. The debates are a little easier. The students know ahead of time and research the topic.

Then they can be ready to argue either side of the topic in the debate. Students can also get topics of speeches and have a half an hour to prepare. Some need practice and some don’t. I took Mr. Howard’s Speech and Drama class my freshman year and it was very hard and very scary.

I did many of the same events the Speech and Debate team does. Though it was scary, I managed to speak in front of the class which was a great accomplishment for me. Giulio said, “I like Speech and Debate. It is a lot of fun.” Hannah said, “I thought it was nice, but thats all I can say.” As President Kennedy once said, “My speech class was the most important class I ever took.” So everyone, go out and speak!