What is Speech and Debate?
Speech and Debate is an extracurricular team that travels to state and (when qualified) national competitions throughout the academic year. Students can participate in an array of events, including (but not limited to)...
- Public Forum Debate: teams of two research a political topic of national or international importance and prepare to argue for and against both sides of the issue
- Impromptu Speaking: a student randomly selects a topic (famous quote, song lyric, trending meme) and has seven minutes to prepare and deliver a speech
- Dramatic Interpretation: a student performs a memorized dramatic monologue or acting scene as one or multiple characters
Why should I join?
Most Beneficial Extracurricular
Studies consistently show that participation in Speech & Debate benefits students in several key ways:
- Higher reading scores, GPA, and test scores even when compared to honor students
- Higher acceptance rates to top-tier colleges compared to other popular activities even without championship titles
- Better oral communication, which has been identified as the greatest skill gap among college freshmen
- Better critical thinking, research, and listening skills
- Greater content knowledge in AP classes
- Increased likelihood of earning advanced degrees and corporate or government leadership positions
Awards, Accolades, and NSDA Honor Society
There are several opportunities to earn awards and trophies at the local, state, and national level. Additionally, participation gives you the opportunity to join the National Speech and Debate Honor Society. With the NSDA Honor Society, you score points at every tournament you attend. These points increase your ranking among peers, earn you honor cords at graduation, and give you the opportunity to apply for national titles and scholarships.
Speech and Debate is a close-knit community. You spend a lot of time with your teammates and competitors around the state. Soon, every tournament is another opportunity to see friends and excel at doing something you enjoy.
National Competition Travel
Through hard work and dedication, you can earn a spot at national competition and travel to exciting cities around the country, such as Washington, D.C. or Chicago
How can I join?
Listen for speech and debate announcements during homeroom. Any motivated student can join by submitting a membership form and attending after school practices. For more information, you can contact Mrs. Smith
Students must have a 2.5-grade point average and must sign a contract outlining membership details. Team members are expected to participate in after school practice. Dues are $20 which includes membership fees to the national speech and debate organization.
Students competing in Policy Debate examine national debate topics. This is a fast-paced intellectual sport. Students develop skills and experiences needed to compete in interscholastic competitions. As a team, we focus on politics and international relations as well as critical thinking, organization, and logic.
Topics this year (from the state association):
Lincoln Douglas Debate Topic for Sept/Oct 2019: Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.
Public Forum Debate Topic for Sept/Oct 2019: Resolved: The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative.
Big Questions Debate Topic for 2019-20: Resolved: Objective morality exists.
Policy Debate Topic for 2019-20: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.