Speech and Debate Competing Virtually


COUNTERPOINT: Nicholas Jardine waits to compete virtually in a speech meet.  All speech events have taken place online this season. ”It’s a little different competing online, but overall we’re doing ok with all the new changes,” said Jardine.

Emri Jenkins, staff writer

The National Speech and Debate Association is an American student debating society established in 1925 as the National Forensic League, and 25 student speech team members are a part of this old, prestigious organization.

Like other teams, the pandemic has affected the usual way speech and debate members compete, but unlike other teams, the “speechies” have been competing virtually. And doing it well. “Consistent top performers are Jo Scherbel and Gabe Daniel in Humorous Interpretation, Ashley Helm in congress, and Priscilla Greenwell in informative speaking.  The rest of the crew is right on their heels,” said coach Katie Roberts.

Speech and debate participants might make what they do seem easy, but they have just learn to deal with the stage fright that comes from public speaking. Their confidence comes from being personally prepared in the speciality they choose. “It is nice in speech and debate that you get to pick what you perform/ speak about/ or your argument in a debate.  Everyone has the same shot,” said Roberts.”Speech and Debate provides students an opportunity to develop skills in research, critical thinking, organization, persuasion and communication. These students must set aside personal bias to perform and debate. They may be competing virtually, but they are competing none the less.