Four months ago if you were to tell me, I would be directing a play and a speech and debate tournament ONLINE, I thought you would have been crazy! Yes, that’s right, not only have we been working on a fully automated tournament system- I have been directing a play through Zoom. Ideal? No. Worth it? YES!
This season, as I saw schools close, events drop, seasons cancelled I too, came to a cross road. Lasting Impact! has always been online – we coach, teach, hold classes, clubs, workshops- it seemed only logical to spend time, energy, resources to run a virtual tournament, right? Right!! Why not create a system that allows competitors to compete? What I didn’t plan on, was the fact students were done, not motivated by the new challenge?!
Our world during a pandemic does not need to completely stop! We just need to adapt and find our new normal. I think many people think this will blow over, that life for speech and debaters will go on as normal in the fall. And if it does, that is great!! But what if it doesn’t? What if some states have tighter restrictions about gathering together? Colleges in the state of California are already planning on everything being online in the fall. I already know some speech clubs that have had their facilities turn them down. One particular club is making adjustments to meet as small groups in homes. Or maybe your club will need to meet online. Again, preferred? No. But what is the alternative? To quit altogether?!
Our play had come to that very cross road back in March. Our state shut down, we could no longer meet. We began to meet over Zoom. Fine for the first week, then the second. Was this our new normal? After numerous meetings and adjustments we announced this was our new normal, this was our plan – we would hold our play over Zoom the last week in May. Yes, some people thought we were crazy. Some students quit. This isn’t what they signed up for!! Neither did we! But we were not going to stop the progress we had made! Adjustments had to be made… now they weren’t on stage, acting big… they were now asked to play to the camera. They have transformed bedrooms to become their makeshift set. Parents have become tech people. Again, their growth didn’t stop, and I think they grew in many new ways… unpredictable ways!! Not only that, their adjustments are paying off big!! They now have a play that they will be putting on in Zoom-land for probably well over 500 people!
I do not think online plays or online Tournaments will ever take the place of events we can do in person! But why not experience it, explore the possibilities of growth!? I have said before this is a social experiment and a social experience (at least it is for Lasting Impact! Online Tournaments). Our next online tournament opportunity is coming up quick –
Parli and Platforms Trailblazers Tournament
June 5-6, 2020
Registration closes this week! Judges welcome!
Blazing a trail of new experiences for Online Tournaments through Parliamentary Debate and Platform Speeches to leave a Lasting Impact! 😉 Come explore Parli – which will include 4 preliminary round resolutions centered around the NEW 2020-21 Stoa/NCFCA resolutions!
Bring a Platform Speech (or possibly two)!! This could include – Persuasive, Original Oratory/Informative, Visual Presentation, Oratorical Examination, Biographical, and AFTER DINNER!!
Dust off a platform speech from the past, write a new one, give your favorite, or finish this year’s speech with a bang and experience your SPEECH in an online event!! Even if Platform Speeches aren’t your thing… give it a try! You might like it! In addition to being a great learning experience, this is a great way to connect. Kids all over the country come to compete, as well as connect, grow, and have fun! Remember, practicing to compete and communicate online is an excellent skill to add to your tool box! Besides, we fully plan on offering more tournaments… this is fantastic practice! It’s only a matter of time before we offer Limited Prep and Interp! It is our goal to create a tournament-like experience.
Come be a pioneer and trailblaze the opportunities through our online tournament.
For more information, rules, etc. www.impacttournaments.info