Why Speech and Debate?
Colleges love Speech & Debate.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
1. State and national award winners have a 22% to 30% higher acceptance rate at top tier colleges.
2. Being captain of the speech and debate team improved an applicant’s chances by more than 60% compared with the rest of the pool.
3. Even without winning major awards, participation in speech and debate reflected in the above average acceptance rate for forensic students (+4%)."
4. This is significantly better than other extracurricular activities that tend to recruit from the same pool of students as forensic teams such as school newspaper reporter (+3%), sports team captain (+5%), class president (+5%), and band (+3%).
5. GPA & SAT PREPARATION
Research by the National Speech and Debate Association indicates that the average speech and debate student is in the top 10% of his or her high school class. Improvement in academic performance is common to all debate students, regardless of their level of academic achievement prior to joining the activity.
David Coleman, the driving force behind the new SAT, is also a former member of Stuyvesant High’s championship speech and debate team. Naturally, the new [SAT] test emphasizes many skills that students cultivate at speech and debate tournaments, including but not limited to:
A. The ability to support a claim with evidence
B. The ability to analyze and deconstruct an author’s argument
A 2013 survey by the National Association of College and Employers found that the ability to communicate effectively is the quality employers most want to see in new recruits.
1. CONFIDENCE: Speech and Debate teaches confidence and eloquence in presenting oneself to the world.
2. COMMUNICATION: Speech and Debate is the art of communication. Studies have shown that students who participate in Speech and Debate come out better able to express their viewpoints effectively, connect with others, and persuade others.
3. TEAMWORK: Every event in Speech and Debate requires some level of collaboration and teamwork. To be able to effectively work with a team to achieve a common goal is extremely important for the real world.
4. CRITICAL THINKING AND ANALYSIS: Participants in Speech and Debate are famous for their next level abilities of analysis. From news articles to literature to music to century old political philosophy books, students learn to dissect information in ways that come in handy in real life scenarios.
5. CHARACTER: Speech and Debate teaches students to keep on persevering for the win, and to be patient in obtaining success. It also teaches students how to maintain composure and morale in the face of failure, a key skill in life.
Interpretive Events: Speeches adapted from literature that will be acted out, drama, humor or both.
Spontaneous Events: Speeches delivered with limited preparation
Original Events: Original speeches written entirely by the speaker
Public Form Debate
Public Forum Debate (PF, POFO, PuFo) is a team event that affirms or rejects a resolution presented every month. This form of debate requires doing research and is primarily focused on evidence, but not driven by it. There are two speakers on each team. First speakers present and develop arguments, while the second speaker has no written out speech, but works on refuting the opponents case, and strengthening your own. Doing Public Forum helps you develop communication skills, including clarity, enunciation, and tonality which help to effectively persuade the judges to agree with your side of the resolution using well-written arguments, clear explanations, and proper delivery.
Lincoln Douglas Debate
Lincoln-Douglas debate (LD debate) is a one-on-one debate event that focuses on ethical issues. The resolutions are moral statements whose truth values are debated by the affirmative, who argues that the resolution is true, and the negative, who argues that the resolution is false . Examples of recent resolutions include: "A government has the obligation to lessen the economic gap between its rich and poor citizens", "Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need", and "States ought not possess nuclear weapons". Unlike other forms of debate, LD relies heavily on philosophy (especially moral and political philosophy), good empirical data, and logical analysis. Debates will often involve a clash between two competing philosophical or political positions.
A two-on-two debate that focuses on a policy question for the duration of the academic year, this format tests a student’s research, analytical, and delivery skills. Policy Debate involves the proposal of a plan by the affirmative team to enact a policy, while the negative team offers reasons to reject that proposal. Throughout the debate, students have the opportunity to cross-examine one another. A judge or panel of judges determines the winner based on the arguments presented. Students who do Policy Debate must be able to work well with a partner. Balanced teams, both in terms of preparation before debates and contributions within a debate, helps provide a competitive advantage during tournaments. Policy debaters are interested in examining specific policies in an intricate and detailed manner. Depth of research is a common trait of successful Policy debaters. Policy Debate is commonly viewed as the most technical debate event within the Association.
Parliamentary debate (or parli) is one of the more extemporaneous Speech & Debate events. Unlike other forms of debate, such as Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas, you are only given 20 minutes to prep out a case. Parliamentary debate is a partner-based event that requires a mix of the ability to think quickly and a good amount of speaking prowess. Topics are assigned at random and are left to the debaters to come up with a fair and acceptable interpretation. It is the perfect event for students who might not necessarily have a lot of time to work on a debate case and want to gain content knowledge on a wide variety of subjects that effect our world today.