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Signing up for a Tournament

  • Step 1:  Plan

    • Choose a tournament from the Calendar
    • Be sure you have no conflicts/check with your parents!
    • Expect to spend the entire day at the tournament

    Step 2:  Sign-up

    • Sign-up sheets are located on the clipboard posted in room 61 on the far wall by the whiteboard calendar
    • Be sure you are signed up 10 days prior to the tournament (fees are owed once registration is complete)

    Step 3: Prepare

    • Find a Partner (if needed)
    • Research, write and rehearse your speeches.
    • Practice with and for other team members, attend club meetings, schedule practice with Hyserby

    Step 4:  Paperwork

    • Get a permission slip from the Callboard, get it signed by teachers and parent, turn it in
    • Pay your tournament fees
    • Arrange carpool

    Step 5:  Go!

    • Be on time.
    • Have fun!


What can Speech & Debate do for me?

  • 10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Join Speech and Debate: a student's perspective:

    1. You get to advocate about issues that matter to you. This year, I wrote a speech about being introverted and how our society is constructed to place quieter people at a disadvantage. … It is quite common for debaters to present cases on structural oppression, racism, and patriarchal norms. You can literally talk about anything, and there are a wide variety of events that you can tailor to fit your interests.
    2. Your team becomes your family. I met some of my closest friends on the speech and debate team. We travel all over the country together for tournaments and share plenty of laughs every day in class.
    3. You learn how to deal with failure and embarrassment. Debate tournaments provide a safe environment for learning how to brush off your mistakes, learn from them, and ultimately move forward. People won’t judge you, either, because everyone’s been there at one point or another.
    4. Writing essays becomes a breeze. Have to write an argumentative persuasive essay in English? Just think up a rebuttal in your head and you’ll have three pages written down! Have to write a paper that analyzes a current event? You’ll have hundreds of articles already filed for you to choose from. Doing speech and debate drastically improves your linguistic and logical skills, along with your ability to construct strong arguments in a short amount of time.
    5. You become more adaptable. One of the most challenging yet exciting aspects of debate is that you can’t foresee exactly how the round will play out (i.e. what case your opponent will read, the judge you’ll get, which side of the debate you’re on). Eventually, you’ll know how to think of responses to multifaceted arguments on the spot and appeal to judges who would normally disagree with your position. In public speaking events, you learn how to quickly adapt to your judge, audience, and room layout. If you forget your speech in the middle of performing it, you learn how to improvise. Adaptability is a necessary skill for success in life.
    6. Colleges LOVE students who are in speech and debate. According to Professor Minh A. Luong of Yale University, students who participate in extracurricular activities that develop “oral and written communication and the ability to organize ideas and present them effectively perform better in college.” After all, other activities, such as sports or music, don’t really engage people’s critical thinking skills as much as debate does. Winning awards and having leadership positions demonstrates to colleges that the student has invested a large quantity of effort and time into their events.
    7. Your public speaking skills improve. This one is obvious but nonetheless very important. I used to shake with nerves whenever I had to present a short PowerPoint to my class. Now, I’m not only no longer scared to speak in front of my peers, but I actually look forward to it! Public speaking is very self-empowering once you become comfortable with it, and it’s also a very admired skill that you can take with you for the rest of your life.
    8. You meet cool people at tournaments. As much as I dislike waking up at 5:30 in the morning on Saturday, getting to see my friends from other schools makes this small sacrifice totally worth it. Since tournaments host such a diverse group of people, they are great for networking and making new friends.
    9. You become woke. Whether it’s doing research on a debate topic about gun legislation or delivering an extemporaneous speech about whether Donald Trump should repeal the Trans-Pacific Partnership, speech and debate truly opens your eyes to what’s happening in the world. You’ll also become informed enough to form your own critical stance on these issues.
    10. It’s fun! I’m not going to lie; being in speech and debate is hard work. However, nothing is more rewarding than the feeling of making my audience bust out laughing or having someone come up to me after the round and tell me that my speech really spoke to them. Plus, you get to travel a lot, which is always exciting.
Last Modified on September 18, 2019