It’s almost ready… The Lasting Impact! Devotional

Every year before I head out on a summer whirlwind of camps and workshops, I dig into The Word to see what God is going to give me to say to these students, parents, club leaders, and coaches. Sure, I know how to pick an Interp or how to make learning about Platform or Limited Prep Speeches fun. But what is it that God really wants to say through me? That’s what really matters!! I’ll admit it, after a long competition season, I feel like I am going to the well parched and ready. In Speech and Debate, we spend so much time focusing our lives around the competition, club meetings, Debate briefs, research, practicing, tournaments, etc. I feel like the summer is for rejuvenation. Psalm 81:10, “For it was I, the Lord your God who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.” How better to get rejuvenated… through Him!! Yet, why did I wait until summer!?

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You Don’t Have to Start Out Being a Great Communicator… Just Start!!

There is often a huge misconception about really good communicators. Most people think that those fantastic communicators started out that way… that they were just naturally talented or gifted!? I hear it all the time, “That person must have been a natural speaker.” Or “He/She is just gifted.”  Or how about, ” They were born that way!!” While they may be a great communicator now, I doubt they were born reciting Shakespeare.  Each of the coaches we have have at Lasting Impact! started their speech and debate journey between the ages of 8-16. And they didn’t become a National Champion Speaker their first year. The point is, they all made a conscience decision to begin. Will you?

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Kick Start Your Speech and Debate Season… Go to Camp!

Now is the time to kick start your season – head to a speech and/or debate camp! Get energized. Learn valuable lessons. Whether you are a beginner or advanced student, rev up your summer at camp! Don’t believe me? Here’s what people who have been to a Lasting Impact! Camp had to say…

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Dear Brand New Alumni…

Dear Brand New Alumni,

Nationals is over. The season is over. Your speech and debate career is over. No longer will you wander the halls of random college campuses anxiously waiting to give a speech. You won’t sit in breaks and hear your name ever again. You won’t have the opportunity to speak in front of judges about something you care about ever again.

These were all the thoughts swimming through my mind last year when I left the national championship. You see, brand new alumni, I was you last year. Coming off my speech and debate career with lifelong friends and memories, devastated it was coming to an end. I honestly don’t remember too much about the very last night of nationals last year, but I know a lot of crying was involved. I had poured my heart and soul into this league for three years and now a piece of paper saying I finished high school was taking it all away.

In short, it felt like my world was ending.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

Brand new alumni, rest assured, as amazing as this activity is, there is life after it. However, being the alumnus I am, I can’t tell you this without my handy dandy three points.

  1. Take Time
    Chances are this league was one of the largest parts of your life the past couple of years. You have poured blood, sweat, and tears into this league. You have grown and been shaped through speech and debate and you feel like the rug has been pulled out from beneath you.
    There is likely a lot of change going on in your life right now. It’s okay to be sad about the end of an era.
    Take a couple of days and allow yourself to sit in the emotion. Let yourself feel it. However, don’t stay there.
    Do something you love, hang out with some friends, even watch a movie. Your life is more than speech and debate, find something else you love and do that.
  2. Give Back
    One of the best things I did as a new alumnus was to help coach my club. Going to an occasional meeting and listening to people discuss debate and give feedback on speeches was like a breath of fresh air for me. Judging was even better. I went to speech and debate tournaments, as an alum this year and I think I had more fun as an alumnus than I did as a competitor!
    Now don’t get me wrong, I still really missed giving impromptu when I heard a topic I got excited about and I might have written down cx questions in a couple LD rounds. However, being a judge was a lot of fun for me and allowed me to see just how much effort it takes to rank a competitor. It allowed me to see my friends and feel the energy of the tournament while paying it forward for the next generation of speakers.
    Take my word for it, new alumni, giving back is one of the best parts of being alumni. Give your email to some rising competitors and let them ask you questions. If a friend asks for feedback on a speech, give it. They’re looking to you now; don’t take that lightly.
  3. Let Go.
    Perhaps the hardest of my three suggestions is to let speech and debate go.
    Not completely, mind you, (see step 2) but there must be a letting go process that happens. If you don’t allow yourself to move on then you will not be able to see the next steps God has for you on this big journey we call life.
    Some of you are ready to be done and have already kissed speech and debate goodbye, but for others, you weren’t quite ready to give all of this up yet.
    It will come.
    But you have to help it along a little bit.
    My suggestion to new alumni is to read your last set of ballots over once or twice then put them away. Your career as a competitor is over now, my friends, and as much as it stinks at times, we must move on to the new path we’ve been given.
    You’ll be okay, brand new alumni, you have been taught to speak well, you have been given wonderful opportunities and friends that will last a lifetime. God gave you the gift of speech and debate and now it’s finally time for it to come to a close. On to a new adventure new alumni!

Best wishes class of 2019
Sincerely,
An alumnus of 2018

A Challenge for those who attended Nationals…

During our Regional Championship tournament, I had a conversation with a student who said the most honest thing I’ve heard in a long while. I initiated the conversation because I work Communications at the tournaments and I could see the student was tense, frustrated, distressed even. When I asked about it, I got the usual response, “My speeches have gone so badly. I really wanted to do well so I could get to Nationals.” There is not a good response for this. I know all the correct things to say: Nationals isn’t the goal. You’ve grown so much. The trophies will fade. None of that matters in the moment of disappointment, so I said nothing and gave the student a hug. That was when it got real. Coming off that hug, the student said this:

“I want to be part of the friend group that goes to Nationals, and I’m not going to be… again.”

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Is IT (Speech and Debate) Over?

With two National Tournaments behind us. We tend to focus on the celebrations or possibly the end of the journey of Speech and Debate. How did you do?!

“I didn’t break….     It’s over…….    I’m done. It’s finished.”

Whoa- wait a minute! The awards, the trophies… they will all get boxed up, possibly thrown away. Everyone’s high school Speech and Debate career will come to an end. The next step in your journey is about to really begin!

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What will you (or did you) get out of the National Championship?

There’s no doubt making it to Nationals in Speech and Debate is a big deal! For some in might be the one and only time. I get asked a lot, “Is it worth the expense? Should I go? What are the benefits of competing at a National level?” Here is my answer…

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Speech and Debate Summer Prep Intensive… sign up NOW!

Lasting Impact! is excited to announce our first annual Speech and Debate Online Summer Prep Intensive especially geared for students, parents, and coaches!! Do you feel like you and your family could use some coaching when it comes to-

  • How to become more prepared for Speech and Debate?
  • How do we make Speech and Debate part of our curriculum?
  • Where do we get started if we want to learn more about Debate, or Speech events?
  • How do I pick an event?

Look no further! Lasting Impact! has put together a two-day ONLINE Workshop filled with information from our amazing, top notch coaches!

Come for one session or all! This is two full days packed for you to get the most out of your summer and upcoming season!

Sessions may include… final schedule will be announced soon!

Summer Apologetics Prep
Thinking about Extemp
Mars Hill with Isabelle Clausen
Speech and Debate from a Biblical Worldview
Is Interpretive or Platform Speaking For Me?
Starting a Club
Novice and Advanced Speaking
Debate Breakdown/Resolution Analysis
Parental Support
Where to Begin with Speech and Debate?
Making the most of the year
How to use your summer

We look forward to being a part of your Summer Speech and Debate prep!!!

Sign Up Now! ONLY $25 per family!!

Carrying On… How else can you use your speech and debate skills by: Gloria Heiss

For some, speech and debate season is coming to a close. Perhaps you have a speech that didn’t advance… does that mean it’s over!? No way!

Okay guys, you’ve become experts at public speaking now what do you with all those skillzzzz?

You go and change the world!!!!! Well, maybe first apply to college or go abroad, maybe write a few essays to get scholarships, get an internship…ya know. Adult stuff. But then you can change the world.

In all honesty, I do want to talk about how we (as awesome communicators) can now use the skills we have learned from our time in Speech and Debate and use them in different ways now that we have graduated or moved on from competition. I was in the same boat as you are my junior year. I loved public speaking and writing, but I didn’t feel called to compete anymore. So what could I do to still be creative and use my skill set effectively? I had to look for opportunities and fortunately they popped up all over! So, here’s just a taste of what you can do with your FANTASTIC ability now that you are done competing…

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The REAL Award at a Speech and Debate Tournament by: Gloria Heiss

I don’t want to sound like a stereotypical alum devotional but I might have to in order to get my point across today. Each year I frustratingly see teens all around me vying for their place on the stage at awards while not even considering the real rewards of tournament. Believe me, I like being recognized for my hard work and skill as much as the next person but those expressions of appreciation do not always come in the form of a trophy you can put on your shelf…

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