Lasting Impact! Syllabus 2.0 (Extended Version)

It’s the beginning of a new speech and debate year! Why not have a new syllabus, right? Each year club leaders go above and beyond creating their syllabus for their club. This is our second year creating one. Lasting Impact Syllabus 1.0 using Vol. 1 is still available. In fact, we had a lot of clubs that chose to use it! So why did we create another one? And what makes this one better?

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Benefits to a Brainstorming Coaching Session by: Kaitlyn Butts

​The biggest question students ask themselves as the summer weeks wind towards another academic year is: what should I write my speeches about? Parents ask themselves: how do I help my students decide what they should write their speeches on? Each feels the gravity of answering that question too soon, too late, incorrectly, insufficiently, etc. An ambitious student may average three speeches a year for six years, resulting in a grand total of eighteen platform and interpretative opportunities… but this number can feel paltry when there are so many books to dramatize, subjects to explore, and ideas that need to be addressed!

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Running a Club (while also having a life) By: Rikki Eskelund

Rikki Eskelund participated in Speech and Debate for six years as a competitor. Yet after she graduated, while going to college, and working, still found time to run a Speech and Debate Club!! There is a huge need for clubs in all areas. If a working, college student can do it- so can you! Here are Rikki’s tips for running a club, while still having a life…

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Adding Rhetoric to Your Speech and Debate Club with Hillary Kolssak

I got to catch up with one of my favorite people in the last couple weeks... Hillary Kolssak is my honorary sis, a fantastic mom, a speech and debate coach, and now this year, she will be running a speech and debate club in the Chicago area. She is a wealth or information and knowledge! We are so blessed to have her share her insights with Lasting Impact! Last year she created a rhetoric program for her club. She saw the need for her advanced students...

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Online Interpretive Workshops This Friday – 8/10/18

Speech Season is quickly upon us! Are you planning on doing an Interpretive piece this year? Do you want help making the most of your planning? Join us for any one of these Interpretive Workshops…

Anatomy of Interp/Finding the Right Piece/Literary Merit

Friday, August 10 – 9:20-10:50 ET / 8:20-9:50 CT

Heather Neumann has helped hundreds of students find their perfect piece. In this session we will go over where to look, what type you should be looking for, and what your interp needs for success.

$5 members/$20 nonmembers

Sign up HERE.


Cutting Scenes Without Losing Story/Tips for Cutting

Friday, August 10 – 11:00-12:30 ET / 10:00-11:30 CT

Are you making the most out of your piece? Heather Neumann helps you to understand if your piece is making the cut. Don’t worry if you don’t have a piece for this year picked out. We will have handouts to help apply what we will be covering.

$5 members/$20 nonmembers

Sign up HERE.


Defining Your Characters/Setting the Stage

Friday, August 10 – 1:15-2:45 ET / 12:15-1:45 CT

How well do you really know your characters? When you are performing an Interpretive Speech, it’s your characters that are telling the story. We will analyze “Theater of the Mind” and apply it to speeches. Hands on activities will have us- defining characters (voices, stances, gait, and any other attributes or factors to make them easy for the judges to imagine and distinguish). We will also “Set the Stage” for success by mentally picturing the scene, identifying where things are, and planning movements appropriately, using the space available, imaginary props, etc.

$5 members/$20 nonmembers

Sign up HERE.

If you can’t make it to physical camp or workshop, let Lasting Impact! come to YOU! We are so excited to be offering more online workshops this summer/fall.

Signing up for an Online Workshop is easy!! All workshops are through an online forum called Zoom. It’s a quick and easy download that your instructor will send to you, as part of their introduction email (usually within 24 hours of your workshop).

For a complete list of Online August Workshops, click HERE.

Why It’s so Hard to Win on Negative at Nationals?? And what to do about it…By: Griffith Vertican

Greetings NCFCA Debaters and Coaches,

Some years ago I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine about the difficulties of being on the negative side in team policy and what to do about it. Reflecting on that conversation and many more since I’ve put some serious thought into why affirmative teams have such a seemingly significant advantage particularly at Nationals…

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The Benefits of One on One Coaching

There are many benefits to getting the guidance of a speech and/or debate coach. In fact, our whole web site has article after article, of our coaches trying to assist you in your journey of speech and debate. If you have never had a one on one coaching session, here are some reasons why…

Accountability– If your parent isn’t guiding you, nor do you feel accountable to your speech and debate club- your speech coach can make sure you have that plan of attack, how and when things need to be done by.

Micro-Expressions– There are the finite details that just can’t be done when you run through a speech in full time. By working with a coach in “stop/start mode” or having them help you pick a part your speech you can really take it to  another level. In interpretive speeches you can work on facial expressions, characterizations, or blocking.

Delivery– The way things are said, facial expressions, and hand gestures can all be covered in detail in just one coavhing session.

Idea Generator– It’s always nice to have someone who will help you bring forth ideas to help make your creation into a masterpiece. Each coach has a variety of skills, as well as ideas they can and will bring to the table.

Another Perspective– Whether or not you are winning tournaments, having a coach look at your speech can be a a breath of fresh air or a cog of inspiration.

These are just a few of the benefits having a coaching session can provide. In addition to the various benefits of one on one coaching, there are also times within the season that can be extremely beneficial to some personal coaching. Here is what Heather Neumann had to say about coaching at various points in a competitor’s season…

Beginning– This is probably one of my favorite times, as a coach. I love trying to figure out what piece suits the competitor best. I like looking through scripts, offering suggestions. I also love the thought process, talking through ideas, whether it’s a platform or interpretive speech. So much energy is put into the beginning stages of a speech, I love being part of helping the competitor think of all the angles. And can you believe I have already had people ask me about next season?!

Middle– Sometimes it can be a little tricky coming in mid-season. I usually meet clients mid-season that are trying to figure things out. Perhaps they are breaking, but not making it to finals. Maybe they are still struggling with their cut, their piece, or the topic. This is when we flush out the direction of where they want to go. Almost no speech is written the first time and never revised, so I help them shape or mold their piece with some refining.

End– The student probably knows their piece inside and out, but may need a little help on the fine details. Are they missing anything? Is there something they can be doing to make it better. This is when it’s nice to have a second set of eyes on the piece to make sure it is the best it can be!

Whether you are at the beinnging, middle, or end of your journey, entrusting your speech with a coach can give you insurmountable joy and enrichment. I not only come along side students, but parents, coaches, and clubs. Sometimes I meet with a student once, and other times I coach them all season. My hope is to teach them what to look for, what to think about, and then they can give back what they have learned. Not convinced yet if you see the benefits to one on one coaching… here are what some others had to say…

From an Alumni: “Being coached by other people is something that I find necessary for success. I actually can’t think of a single speech where I didn’t receive any one-on-one critiques before giving it in competition. Here’s the way I look at it: I only have so much creative capability, but my speech can be aided by additional creative suggestions from other people. This could be in the form of restructuring an entire presentation or simply saying a word differently. One on one coaching allows your speech to become fine-tuned and although it’s not always easy to be evaluated and criticized, it results in a superior presentation that you’ll have more joy sharing.”

From a competitor’s point of view: “Over the years I have spent many hours trying to improve my speeches, sometimes to no avail. But one method always provides positive results when I do it, giving my speech in front of others. Others’ constructive criticism has made my speeches Nationals worthy and without it I wouldn’t have been able to get as far as I had.”

What Coach Kristi says:  One on one coaching is more focused than the suggestions you get in a club setting or on a ballot.  And there are reasons for that….

First of all, you’ve likely done some preparation.  At the very least, you’ve set aside your time to give to the individual you’ll be meeting with, and you’ve probably thought about what you want to get from them.  This alone is often more than you bring as a competitor to your speech club meeting.  When I coach kids, I always begin by asking, “What comments have you been getting on your ballots?” and “What do you want to accomplish here?”  If a student doesn’t know the answer to those questions, then we probably won’t get much done in the session.  Thankfully, most kids know.  I hear things like, “I need ideas for blocking.”  or “I keep hearing that my characters aren’t distinct enough.”  Even kids who don’t know exactly WHAT is holding them back can articulate that they keep getting 4th or 5th and they aren’t sure how to get up a notch or two.  What they are really saying is, “What would YOU need to see to rank me higher?”  Usually, I can answer that question after listening.

The second reason that one on one coaching is so effective is that the coach isn’t comparing you to other speeches.  The coach is comparing your speech to the ideal of your speech.  Trust me, there is nearly always room there to get closer to that ideal.  The most frustrating thing for competitors is that every coach will have a slightly different ideal.   Some want more energized blocking, while others focus on diction.  Every single one of these ideals helps you up your game, however!  In fact, finding out what several different coaches emphasize or prefer helps you get a much bigger picture of what your speech could be.  Your judge pool is large and varied.  You want to reach as many of them as possible.

One on one coaching gives the coach the chance to actually voice opinions he or she might not blurt out at club.  It also gives them time to really think through their responses more thoroughly than they ever can during a tournament round.  The whole process is more deliberate than other methods of coaching, so you get more out of it.

Of course this article wouldn’t complete with out mentioning that Lasting Impact! could meet your all your coaching needs- from multiple styles of debate, as well as interpretive, platform, and limited prep type speeches.  Simply check out our amazing coaches and schedule an appointment with any one of them! Here are also some of the organizations we have had the opportunity to coach for…

  • NCFCA – National Christian Forensic and Communication Association
  • Stoa
  • NSDA – National Speech and Debate Association
  • CFA – Catholic Forensic Leagues
  • NHD – National History Day
  • TedX

Here is what some of our clients wanted to share:

-The coaches of LastingImpact! have some of the best alum I have seen compete in the past twelve years. They are as dedicated to your success as you are. Their advice is worth your investment.

-Lasting Impact! enlists some of the best coaches, I highly recommend you take the time to present for them.

-Without the help of my Lasting Impact! coach I would not have broke.

-My coach was extremely helpful! She had the perfect combination of motivation, encouragement, and inspiration.

Experiencing The Art of Communication By: Abbey Lovett

Abbey Lovett is one of our Lasting Impact! Coaches. She will be hosting an Online Workshop Feb. 10 at 1:00 CT on Storytelling. It will be part of our Online Workshop Series- Storytelling, Illustrated Oratory/ Expository, After Dinner Speaking, and Creating your Characters. More information coming soon to sign up for the online workshops!! For now, enjoy Abbey’s article on The Art of Communication… Be sure to check out her video too!

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Speech and Debate- Coaching versus Mentoring

BlakeSenseman

I get asked all the time, how did I start coaching, what is the process I use to coach, etc. Although I consider myself a "Speech Coach", I actually think I am more of a "Mentor". Lately I have been analyzing the difference between coaching and mentoring, and what approach I have, so that I can help you become a better coach (or mentor). Maybe what I do is more of a hybrid method...

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Sample Speech Club Syllabus with Lasting Impact! Vol. 1

Starting and leading a Speech and Debate Club can take a lot of time and energy. Club leaders are amazing! However, many club leaders feel inadequate and unequipped. I have been asked numerous times to show what a sample syllabus of what a random speech club would/could look like. Challenge accepted! So naturally I thought I would use Lasting Impact! Vol. 1 as my guide. Please note- Lasting Impact! Vol. 1 was not written as a curriculum, but because we follow your speech journey, you can see the path I chose to use. Whether you are a new club leader or a leader looking for a fresh new approach on how to combat club this year, here is a possible syllabus using Lasting Impact! Vol. 1 as your main resource….

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