More than a competition, speech and debate fosters community.

"Speech has given me a voice I didn't know I had." - Elle Pinnock, senior

October 17, 2019

  Unlike other high school activities where students compete and then move on, speech and debate doesn’t end when one steps out of high school. The social skills learned benefit participants in their personal lives and even in their professional careers. The competition provides much more than just awards and recognition; it implements essential communication skills that are keys to future success. It is not uncommon to see introverted individuals transform into a powerful voice capable of speaking their mind.

“Speech has given me a voice that I didn’t know I had. It has given me an outlet of hope and keeps me surrounded by amazing people,” senior Elle Pinnock, the teams POI captain, said.

Individuals don’t need to be the most charismatic people to be able to participate in a speech and debate tournament. Participants develop social skills, increase confidence, and practice communicating with others. The speech and debate community is a cordial one; everyone is willing to lend advice and comfort to all who ask. Just as a family works together to solve their problems, the forensics team will help everyone become the best they can be.

“My team is my family,”  senior Izzy Oates said.

One doesn’t need to pass a trial to become a member of the family, though.

“Anyone can be in speech and debate! Everyone is welcome, the community is super open and friendly, you just need to have the work ethic,” Pinnock Said.

It’s hard to go to a speech and debate tournament and not see a friendly face. Members are often seen fostering relationships with others, hanging out with friends, and overall simply having a good time. Even competitors share their gratitude towards each other for a job well done. A tournament is much more than just a competition; it is a gathering of amiable individuals who love what they do.

 “Something I will always cherish is the final warm up at tournaments. We say, ‘Whether the weather is cold or whether the weather is hot, we will be together whatever the weather whether we like it or not,’” Oates said. 

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in Speech and Debate should contact their counselor about enrolling in Mrs. Young’s forensics class or Mr. Higgin’s debate class.

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