Speech and Debate


Ryan Birchfield, Photojournalist

According to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the ‘only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.  I may be alone here, but I believe that there are a few other things to be afraid of than just fear, like death, war, death, robberies, death, fatal illnesses, and death, just to name a few.  Shockingly, however, none of these are actually the number one fear for Americans.  What is?

Public speaking.

That’s right, public speaking is the number one fear for Americans, according to Huffington Post.   It’s above death, which is just mind-boggling.  People turn down jobs because of public speaking.  How can you get over your fear? This can easily be accomplished by joining the Yorba Linda High School Speech and Debate Team.

What is Speech and Debate?  Speech and Debate is a 7th period class that helps students build skills in critical thinking and public speaking.  The hours are flexible; only three hours are needed a week and these can be completed after school from Monday to Thursday, at the participant’s discretion.  Speech will appeal to people who are more creative and willing to perform, whereas Debate is best for the more argumentative, logical, factual person.

According to Ms. Dagampat, the biggest thing that kids learn from Speech and Debate are life skills.  She said that “there is often a disconnect between what a person knows and what a person knows how to communicate, and Speech and Debate helps bridge that gap”.  It also provides life skills that are invaluable in job interviews, future careers, and college.

Speech and Debate has personally put me into contact with some of the best and brightest people I know.  It’s like a second family to me.  I highly recommend that anyone who is on the fence about whether or not to take this class should just take the chance and try the class.  You only get out of things what you put into them, and if you put yourself into Speech and Debate, you will reap the rewards.