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Club Overview: Speech & Debate

A Hidden Gem at SCHS

November 28, 2020 12:29 AM
Members of the club have to have strong public speaking abilities like the man in this image (Miguel Henriques/Unsplash)
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Note: This story was originally produced over a month ago. Information, dates, predictions, and other details may be outdated.

Here at SCHS, there is a large variety of clubs and organizations that students can partake in throughout the year. Within the sea of all these clubs, one has somehow managed to be overlooked by many students, the Speech and Debate club. Speech and Debate revolves around building up formal speaking skills for everyone who is a part of it, as well as making students more confident in public speaking.  

There are many different benefits that students can reap from Speech and Debate. This club also helps students develop better listening skills, in addition to better critical thinking skills. These skills help students perform better overall in school, especially in writing courses. Having good communication skills is not only essential for developing and maintaining good relationships with others, but also essential for life in general, such as job interviews, presentations, communicating with co-workers, etc. If you have a fear of public speaking, then this club will help you to overcome that obstacle.

Noah Jenkins, the captain of the speech and debate club, has a lot to say about the club. He has been the most active and prominent member, since he was a freshman, and is the current captain of the team. When asked to relay what he believed to be the greatest benefit to come from joining the club, he answered that "the communication skills gained are necessary for not only, making and, maintaining deep relationships with others, but for other aspects of life outside of social instances." After being asked what he would like to say to someone who is brand new to the club as a warning, he said 'many of the people, especially the private school kids, look very put together and intimidating." He continues, "despite that, the pros of the club far outweighs the cons."

There are many different categories of speech and Debate for students to participate in, all which center around different communication skills.


  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Lincoln-Douglas debate is with two opposing sides debating either for or against a given resolution they are assigned, and are judged by a coach. Most of the topics that are argued in this section are about the morality of whether certain solutions are right and should be applied. There are two people debating and one judge as well as several rounds. There is also a large amount of research required on the subject beforehand.
  • Congressional Debate: This section is all about participants creating bills, and other students debating whether to approve/pass the bills. This is also a group debate with more people.
  • Policy Debate: Participants work in pairs and debate over two different opposing sides, the affirmative and the negative side. Usually a problem is presented and then the two opposing sides debate over a solution. The debate usually consists of building an argument, refuting counter arguments while presenting your own, and many other aspects.
  • Public Forum Debate: Public forum debate is perhaps the most casual and relaxed of all the categories. It involves two teams debating different topics that change monthly and are usually taken straight from newspaper and article headlines.


  • Dramatic interpretation: Speakers give a presentation from usually from a poem, film, or anything of the like. The presentations are limited to 10 minutes and has no props or anything similar. These are performed alone with spectators.
  • Duo interpretation: Groups of pairs reenact scenes or lines from different poems, movies, or books together, without even looking at or touching each other. The categories fall under humorous or dramatic, and sometimes both. These usually last for 10 minutes, and there are no props to be used in these reenactments.
  • Impromptu: One of the hardest events to participate in. In this event you get five minutes of preparation time and five minutes of presentation time. This category sees students creating a short speech based off a given quote on the spot.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking: In this category, participants are given a question that they then must prepare a speech for within 30 minutes. They are provided resources to try and create the speech.

The speech and debate club are a club that allows students to develop skills that are essential for not only social situations but for life in general. Despite how overlooked it is by many students, it is a very important club that any student should at least try and join.

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