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The Biggest Mistakes I See Students Make in Interp Speeches

I’ve been at this a LONG time – teaching students how to manage the interpretive speech.  It is definitely a purist endeavor that relies on the student alone to create the entire context suggested by a reduced segment of a piece of literature.  There is nothing easy about it.  When it’s done well, it really works.  As students strive to reach that mark, I find that they make the same basic mistakes along the way, and these fall into two basic categories: technical mistakes and ownership mistakes.  Let me explain….

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Apologetics Workshop – 100 Bible Verses to add to your box

This Sunday evening – Feb. 23, 2020, is Lasting Impact!’s mid-season apologetics workshop. It is focused on providing resources to competitors in the middle of the season (or an early jump start for next year) to equip and motivate them. We know it is a busy time and you may see a workshop as another burdensome item to add to the checklist that never seems to end. You may have also noticed, however, that this workshop is unique in that its focus is to wash attendees in Scripture. The entire two hours will be an intentional journey through what Scripture has to say about apologetics topics.

Why focus on Scripture in general?
Growing in your knowledge of Scripture helps to draw you closer to Christ and focus your motivations for participating in apologetics and public speaking. Knowing more of God’s Word directly prepares you to fight temptations in your personal life, take comfort in difficult seasons, and share your faith in conversation with others as the Holy Spirit works to bring those references to mind. Scripture is the most powerful and appropriate outside resource to include when you share what you believe with others. My hope is that this workshop’s focus will benefit you by helping you to re-center your heart and emotions. My prayer is that you will be more excited to study God’s word outside of apologetics prep and get a glimpse of the treasures that wait for you.

Why focus on Scripture once the season has already begun?
In case you’re still hesitant, I want to remind you that the amount of time you have to write and edit new cards will only continue to decrease as the season picks up and the other demands on your time increase. Having large quantities of Scripture passages at your fingertips allows you to not only quickly bulk up all your cards, but also directs and organizes your other content and can reduce any prep time panic.

How exactly will this workshop provide Scripture resources?
You’ll be guided through carefully prepared slides that provide Scripture passages and how they could be used not only in specific topics but also with specific points that you could then elaborate on in the moment. Let’s look at an example! There are several topics that ask you to articulate the attributes of God. Each attribute provides the opportunity for you to share passages of Scripture that shed light on who God is. While we’ll be touching every apologetics topic at least by brushing past similar topics, this workshop will make sure you are prepared to fill your speeches with specific resources. For example, when explaining the meaning and significance of God’s omnipotence, the words of Scripture can shape your organization and content for each point.

  • Job 42:1-2 shows us the attitude we should take towards God’s omnipotence, which is one of both confidence and humility. “Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
  • Isaiah 14:27 chimes in “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?”
  • Daniel 4:35 draws a comparison between our power as humans and our inability to question the work of God. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
  • Ephesians 1:18-19 provides specific encouragement to believers for the eternal hope the all-powerful God has promised in salvation “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.”
  • Here’s a final example (we could have looked at many more) of a verse that helps articulate the magnitude of God’s omnipotence. Colossians 1:17 sums up the breadth and impact of God’s power. “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

This is the process we’ll be walking through on Sunday, and I really hope you’ll join me! Sign up here for Sunday night’s apologetics resource workshop. Click HERE to sign up.

Exploring Fonts for a Digital Presentation

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Speech and Debate Leagues have decided to adapt with the world of technology. Speech categories such as Expository, Power Point, or Digital Presentation are among the few events that allow for visual enhancement of the speech, specifically through the use of slides. And although this is the direction the world is turning, it comes with a world of confusion, decisions, and a learning curve. The images, and more importantly, the fonts you choose is another aspect of communication. These decisions are crucial to conveying your message! Today, we will specifically addressing one of the most important aspects of your slides- the font...

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Apologetics Resource Workshop Feb. 23 with Kaitlyn Butts – Sign Up NOW


If someone asked me to give a one-liner that captures what will be happening for two hours on the evening of February 23rd, I’d probably blurt out something like “nearly 100 Bible verses you can use in apologetics right now to help you feel more prepared and grow in your faith.” That doesn’t sound very professional, so you might want to read the rest of this article, but if you’re convinced this intensive is for you, feel free to skip the article and sign up HERE.

Although the competition season has begun, it is not too late to accumulate resources for apologetics and grow in your passion for both God’s word and this speech event. You can expect this intensive to be fast-paced and motivational! While I’ll be facilitating the evening and running the carefully prepared slides (which you will have access to after the intensive), you won’t be hearing many of my own words. Instead, you’ll have the chance to meditate with me on the divinely inspired words of God. I’ll be pushing well past the passages of Scripture you’re probably using already to challenge you with less familiar passages drawn from less familiar places in the Bible.

If you’ve participated in Lasting Impact!’s online apologetics club or workshops in the past, you’ve probably heard me or another coach explain the importance of familiarizing yourself with the broader categories and sub-categories that make up each league’s topic list. In this intensive, we’ll be moving systematically through the categories and sub-categories you will encounter and looking at Scriptures that will help you provide a deeper and stronger answer. Here are just a few examples of what we’ll be covering:

  • Verses that show both God’s transcendence and immanence
  • Verses that refute works-based salvation
  • Verses that proclaim Christ’s divinity and humanity
  • Verses that build confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible
  • Verses that specifically refute deism, pantheism, and reincarnation

After this intensive, you’ll have lots of resources that can be immediately transferred to cards so that you can confidently walk into your next tournament prepared to share the power and truths of Scripture! I hope to see you on February 23rd!

Sign Up HERE.

Limited Prep: Should You Prioritize Structure or Pathos? by: Annie Rogers

​Throughout my seven years competing in Speech and Debate, I heard the same phrase echoing throughout the competition halls: “I just want at least ONE judge to cry in my speech this time”. Pathos, the emotional appeal of your words, is admittedly an effective tool when it comes to evoking strong reactions amongst your audience, but is it the best way to approach your limited prep speeches?

Sign up for Annie’s Impromptu Class, which starts Mon. Feb. 10, HERE or continue to read on…

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Another Lasting Impact! Impromptu Class Added for Spring

Are you looking to enhance your communication skills? Are you needing more practice in your impromptu speaking abilities? Are you not able to get into the impromptu speech category because it’s too full or your league doesn’t offer it? Would you believe, working on these skills will help in all aspects of speech and debate, including LIFE!?

There is no doubt the benefits you can gain by being bold and trying Impromptu! But it can be so much easier than just jumping in… let Annie Rogers be your guide! Lasting Impact! is adding another Impromptu Class/Club to help our students navigate one of the harder speech categories… but probably one of the events with the most benefits.

Annie says, “Practicing and preparing for Impromptu can better prepare you for real life. Trust me, you cannot win a scholarship, receive a job offer, or earn a prestigious internship with out the skills to think on your feet. Most colleges, businesses, and fellowships are concerned with your ability to think critically, speak coherently, and process information quickly. One of the purposes of competing in high school speech and debate is to prepare students to communicate effectively in any environment they end up in, and focusing on developing the structure of your Impropmtu’s is a small, albeit effective tool in pushing you closer to that goal.”

Join Annie Rogers in her weekly quest to better prepare communicators. This class is limited in size. Her goal is to enhance your skills in Impromptu, Limited Prep, Debate, and beyond! Click HERE to sign up and learn more!

Impromptu: Why and How by: Sophia Chiado

Impromptu. The word itself used to scare me. Why not play it safe and do informative and persuasive speeches? Aren’t I too old to start a new speech category?

For a long time, I stuck with this philosophy; playing it safe, until I felt that God was calling me to do something very bold, something completely out of my comfort zone and on my “never do” list….impromptu.

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Breaking the Fourth Wall… Why it Matters

Breaking the Fourth Wall results when people on a stage detach from the scene to reach out to the audience, speaking directly to that audience as though they were characters in the scene. I recently read an article comparing an Interpretive Speech to a movie, and that interpers should stay in their little bubble- in other words, the article suggested that interpretive speakers should NOT break the Fourth Wall that stands between themselves and the audience. Kristi and I both agree with each other that we could not DISAGREE more with this concept...

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Humorous Interp – A Deeper Purpose? By: Nina Romeo

Hallelujah! Humorous Interpretation has returned to the NCFCA. We should all celebrate our triumph in overcoming the great injustice that has been the last two humorousless years. How could they have done this to us? Do they even care? Well, it may come as a shock, but the answer is a resounding yes. They care for the judges who were forced to sit through eighty minutes of poorly timed jokes, an overuse of Patrick McManus, superficial characters, and hyper teens using Humorous as an excuse to be obnoxious. This event was misused for years, and it is my hope that it’s return this year will be stronger and more powerful than ever.

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