Spotlight: YLHS Speech & Debate


Some Speech & Debate students pose in their tournament attire during their first tournament of the year!

Evelyn Chan, A&E Editor

Impromptu, Extemporaneous, Congress, Lincoln-Douglass, Dramatic Interpretation, Original Oratory, Humorous Interpretation, Duo, Presiding Officer, Oratorical Interpretation. Chances are, these words all sound foreign to you. However, these are actually words to describe the events our YLHS Speech & Debate students compete in!


First off, you should know that Speech & Debate isn’t just a bunch of people dressed up in suits giving speeches. In fact, those in speech do more than just give a simple speech, their events range from memorizing a ten minute speech to calling attention to important social issues to recreating a previously written piece with a partner! Here’s a brief look at exactly what our Mustang Speech students partake in: Impromptu Speaking – draw a topic (quotation, noun, word, person’s name) and you have 2 minutes to prepare and compose a five minute speech, Duo Interpretation – two students interpret a selection taken from a story, a play, a poem, or other literary material and cut/perform the piece together using gestures, voice and facial expression, Original Oratory and Original Prose/Poetry – present an original work in an 8-10 minute prepared speech, Humorous or Dramatic Interpretation – select a humorous or dramatic piece (from a story or play) and develop meaning through a performance using gestures, voice, and facial expression, Oratorical Interpretation – select a famous piece (speech) and develop meaning through a performance using gestures, voice, and facial expression.


Then, there’s the more political side of Speech & Debate, Debate! Here, Debate students speak on international and national policies, run a mock Congress over real-life bills, or create cases for one specific topic to relay their perspective. Here’s a look at the events Debate students partake in: Congressional Debate – each “senator” is given bills and must prepare speeches for or against the bill. This simulates an actual congress where speakers persuade the house to vote for or against legislation, Lincoln-Douglas Debate – known as “one-person” debate, is research intensive and students build cases for the affirmation and negation. All contestants debate the same resolution, but approaches to the topic will vary, Extemporaneous Speaking – you use resources and will draw a topic (from international or national current events) and have 30 minutes to prepare a 5-7 minute speech.


Our Speech & Debate Mustangs have just finished up their first tournament of the year at the Cal State Fullerton Speech & Debate Invitational, competing in almost all the events. Over 15 Speech & Debate students breaking to semifinals, finals, and placing overall! Jenny Nagel (12) shares her thoughts as part of the Speech & Debate Team saying, “It was incredible how, even though each of us competed in a separate event, we all came together to support and love each other. That was evident at awards when we all clapped and cheered for each other like crazy, because we’re a family.” Looks like our Mustangs are loving their Speech & Debate family, good luck to those in Speech & Debate for the upcoming year! If you’re interested in joining Speech & Debate, speak to Coach Dagampat in room 424.