Speaking Out

Join Speech and Debate! Photo credit: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vmo28

Join Speech and Debate! Photo credit: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vmo28

Grace Kim, Photojournalist

“Speech and Debate is an extracurricular activity that I can improve my public speaking on while being able to have fun with people that have similar interest,” states Aino Hakkinen (10). At YLHS, students have access to a unique program called Speech and Debate. In this program, students will learn to be more comfortable speaking in public, train on tone and tactics on creating an impactful performance while being able to write the perfect argument to win any case. Jenee Anekwe (9) says “Speech and Debate will increase intellect and make you a more confident member of society.”

Speech and Debate is split into two major categories, speech and debate, in which both categories are divided into even smaller divisions. Speech consist of International Extemporaneous, National Extemporaneous, Impromptu, Original Oratory, Original Advocacy, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Oratorical Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation. Debate, on the other hand, is divided into Lincoln-Douglas debate, Parliamentary debate, and Congress. Out of these several sub-groups, usually the performer only choose one for the whole year. Since there are several categories, students have the freedom to choose any sub-groups they want to be part of.  For example, if the student wants to do something more lighthearted and comical they are probably going to choose humorous interpretation. Or, if the student wants to argue for a case instead of reciting a piece, they can choose to be in Parliamentary Debate. As can be seen, students have the advantage of choosing the sub-group that most attract them.

After choosing either speech or debate, the coaches prepare students for competition. Speech and Debate is run by Ms. Dagampat (Staff) . Performers come any day between Monday through Wednesday for three hours. With this in mind, students are able to have a sport and attend Speech and Debate practice. In fact, there are several students in Speech and Debate who also perform in a sport. Students in Speech choose their topic of the performance, write a piece usually ten minutes, and memorize. Debate create potential cases and practice amongst themselves. Both groups train on the tone of their voice, footsteps, hand gestures, eye contact, and even small habits. Once, the students are prepared they usually perform constantly until the OCSL tournament in March. Yet, If the performer is able to be a finalist, they get to surpass the OCSL tournament and compete in state and nationals. Speech and Debate is an amazing extracurricular with everyone very close and supportive.