WHAT IS SPEECH & DEBATE?
We offer to teach and coach various speech categories, from prepared speeches to limited preparation speeches. Each speech category will help stretch and equip your students with valuable life skills, including:
- Research and preparation
- Thinking on the fly
- Increasing their dynamic range of communication (speaking excitingly and somberly, and everywhere in between).
- Non-verbal communication
We train our students to argue in a loving, honorable, respectful, and professional manner. So, while they might still try to argue with you, we're here to partner with you to help see that the skills they will develop through debate can be used as a tool to love others and do good, and not for selfish gain.
With debate, your student will learn:
- Formulating logical arguments
- Professionalism (in demeanor and conduct)
- Research and preparation
- Thinking on the fly
- Gracious responses to argumentation
You can think of "logic" as a tool, and those trained on how to use this tool properly can be more efficient and effective in making decisions. We live in a world with an overabundance of information. By practicing and tuning your mind to identify logical fallacies coupled with loving the Lord, you'll develop a practical life skill beyond the debate round.
4. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking and logic are lost skills that our current culture does not prioritize as tools to equip the next generation. Yet, these tools are as important as a compass and a map for an explorer as they set forth to cross a vast ocean.
Speech and debate are vehicles that will help your child develop these lost skills. So they'll be prepared to critically and logically think about all aspects of life and learn the skill of communicating information and using persuasive techniques, not to manipulate but rather lovingly communicate truth.
PEELING THE ONION...
WHAT DO CLUB MEETINGS LOOK LIKE?
September - December
This portion of the season can be one of the hardest parts because it can be a little on the academic side. We focus on teaching the basics of speech and debate. We try to make it interactive, with opportunities for students to practice speaking.
Winter & Spring
January - May
We see many students grow to enjoy speech and debate during this portion of the season. Again, there is a mixture of competition and practice, and during this time, they begin to grow in confidence and see early fruit.
Our competition season runs during this season, so our goal during this part of the year is to work with each student and give them feedback to help them continue to develop the various skills needed to improve.
Participating in speech and debate tournaments might be the last thing your child wants to do. We've had countless students opt out of the first tournament. Afterward, they heard from the other students that it wasn't that bad (and actually, it was pretty fun), and that student signed up for the next tournament. Of course, you know your student best, and we won't force anyone to speak at club or participate in a tournament. Still, we want parents and students to view these speaking opportunities as more little bites from that BIG SCARY ELEPHANT, and they'll get better over time.
PEELING THE ONION EVEN MORE...
WHAT DO TOURNAMENTS LOOK LIKE?
We'll be honest. Tournament participation might be one of the hardest things that your student has done in their life to date.
It's hard work to be physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, but they will have a great time doing it because of our HOW approach.
While students are not required to compete in tournaments, we humbly and highly recommend that they do. You’ll find that in just one tournament, your student will grow in one way or another!
Three Day Tournaments
We affiliate with NCFCA, a Christian speech and debate league that oversees all facets of competition and more!
Days 1 and 2 consist of "prelim" (preliminary) rounds at a typical tournament. For example, if your child competes in speech, they will have three opportunities (a.k.a. rounds) to present their speech. If they participate in debate, they will have six prelim rounds.
Day 3 typically consists of "elim" (elimination) or "out rounds". Students advance based on the results of their prelim rounds. For newer students, this can be a discouraging experience. Still, they will soon realize the love and camaraderie of the other students. Students who do not advance learn valuable life lessons in humility as they cheer on their fellow clubmates who do advance. While these experiences are some of the hardest (especially for us as their parents), because we don't want to see our children experience difficult things or to see them disappointed, it's an extremely valuable learning opportunity. It's a chance for us to lovingly walk alongside them, pray for them, and point them to their Heavenly Father, who unconditionally loves them!