Benefits of Speech & Debate Training
Critical thinking skills. Speech & debate sharpens student’s ability to think and listen critically, and communicate their ideas in an organized and compelling manner. The ability to think critically is essential in our culture today where we are bombarded with humanistic ideas and political agendas in movies, TV, social media, music, literature, and even textbooks. Students develop an understanding of what they believe about the issues that confront them in our culture and why (through research, application, and analysis), and learn to communicate their ideas effectively through competition/evaluation and creativity.
Increased problem-solving abilities and overall academic performance. Speech & Debate students score higher on standardized tests including the SAT, ACT, and AP.
Research skills. Speech & Debate students understand more about their world, and the value systems that drive the policies that affect them individually, and their communities as a whole.
Critical listening skills. Speech & Debate students become adept at evaluating what is being said, and discerning underlying agendas and unproven assumptions.
Think quickly on their feet
Confidence under pressure
Present compelling responses to difficult questions
Best of all: Life-long friendships!
Where should new students begin?
Team Policy debate is recommended for beginners because it teaches students the fundamentals of public-speaking within a concrete framework of problem-solution-benefits. Students learn foundational research, organization, analysis, refutation and persuasive speaking skills. Lincoln Douglas debate is a more abstract, philosophical form of debate and is therefore geared toward experienced high school debaters who enjoy political theory, philosophy and history.
In addition to debate, students are also encouraged to participate in Speech. Speech sharpens students’ oratorical skills and provide a creative outlet for those who enjoy performance related events like Dramatic or Humorous Interp. Platform speech events (like Persuasive Speaking) provide a platform for students to speak on important issues that they are passionate about and Limited Prep speech events (such as Impromptu, Apologetics and Extemporaneous) sharpens students ability think on their feet when articulating their beliefs about their faith or current events.
Both speech and debate work hand-in-hand in building well-rounded communicators who can think critically and articulate their ideas persuasively. However, students that can only do speech or debate (not both) are encouraged to focus on debate. Year after year, statistics prove that students who get involved in debate tend to stick with it. They establish close friendships and enjoy being part of a club team. Whereas students that are only involved in speech, tend to have a higher drop-rate since speech is predominantly an individual event.
Join a Local Club
- New speech students are typically required to attend an Introductory Speech camp
- New debaters are typically required to attend an Introductory Team Policy debate camp
- Experienced debaters are typically required to attend an Intermediate or Advanced Debate camp
- Club members should plan to compete in two or more tournaments each season