Speech and Debate

Quick Summary of Speech & Debate Categories:

1. Impromptu Speaking - 5 min. to create a 3-5 min. speech from 3 topic choices

2. Original Oratory - write and memorize own informative speech (10 min. max.)

3. Dramatic Interpretation - read dramatic published piece (10 min. max.)

4. Humorous Interpretation - read humorous published piece (10 min. max.)

5. Poetry - read 1 or several published poems (10 min. max.)

6. Duet Acting - Drama -- 2 people give theatrical performance of published dramatic piece (10 min. max.)

7. Duet Acting - Humor - 2 people give theatrical performance of published humorous piece (10 min. max.)

8. Solo Acting - 1 person give theatrical performance of a published piece (10 min. max.)

9. Creative Storytelling - 15 minutes to create a 3-5 min. story given 3 story outline choices

10. One-on-One Value Debate - 1 person is given 30 minutes to prepare an argument (for or against) involving an issue related to core values (bill of rights, constitution, etc...)

11. Public Forum Debate - team argues for or against contemporary issue





Top 10 Reasons to Join Speech & Debate


10. Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

A study published in 1992 in Fortune magazine asked the personnel directors of the 500 largest corporations in America what was the most essential skill for success in today's job market? Their response? Good oral communication skills! But when asked which skill new employees were most deficient in, they again answered oral communication.

9. Win Stuff

Let's face it, everybody loves to get awards. In speech and debate you have a chance to win ribbons, medals, plaques, and trophies. Plus, the accomplishments look great on college applications, résumés, and bedroom walls!

8. Meet Interesting and Ridiculously Talented People

The Speech and Debate Team travels all over Colorado and competes against some of the best and brightest in the state, but there are LOTS of beginners, too. The variety of people who join speech teams is amazing! You will have an opportunity to meet students from many schools and immediately have something in common. You will also have the chance to improve your skills and become one of those ridiculously talented people!

7. Support Your Teammates and Help Each Other Out

There's no better way to bond than going to a speech tournament and being there for one another during success as well as failure. In speech and debate you can develop close friendships and find a place where everyone "belongs."


6. Develop Your Study Skills

Writing speeches and preparing for debate requires you to know how to research and keep up with current events. It improves your writing skills, your memorization skills, your time management, and builds overall brain cells. Guess what? Those are exactly the same skills you need for school and college. The ability to think and speak on your feet is an important skill to cultivate.

5. Confidence to be a Leader

Some of the top leaders in the nation, including congressmen, politicians, lawyers, and Fortune 500 businessmen, are former speech and debate participants. Many entertainers and broadcast journalists came from speech and debate programs. Some famous former debaters have been Jane Pauley, Shelly Long, Bill Gates, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and several members of the US Supreme Court.



4. Preparation for the "Real World"

"I think debating in high school and college is most valuable training whether for politics, the law, business, or for service on community committees such as the PTA and the League of Women Voters. A good debater must not only study material in support of his own case, but he must also, of course, thoroughly analyze the expected argument of his opponent. The give and take of debating, the testing of ideas, is essential to democracy. I wish we had a good deal more debating in our educational institutions than we do now."

-John F. Kennedy, August 22, 1960



3. Strengthen Your College Application

"What you do says a lot about you. That is what college admissions officers believe. Extracurricular activities are not merely filler for your college applications. Colleges are looking for more than ‘walking brains.' They want individuals who will round out their student body with new interests and talents, while fitting in with the other students."

- "Beyond the Books: The Importance of Extracurriculars", , 2006


2. There Really is Something for EVERYONE!

Whether you are into theater and drama, humor, presenting information, working with a team, reading with expression, persuading others, arguing a case, making-up stories, speaking on the fly, or you would like to learn how to do any of these things, there will be a category in Speech and Debate that you'll enjoy.


1. It's Fun!

Most importantly, we're out to have a good time, meet people, and improve our communication skills. Remember that even though we're competitive, our main goal is not to win or lose, but to have fun.