Four Pillars of Communication by: Chloe Peters

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw. Most people who have known me for a while, know at least these two things about me. 1. I am a Christian and 2. I have a hearing impairment. Those two things taught me one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned: effective communication is essential. But what is effective communication? We can break it down into four requirements. Effective communication requires clarity, speaking, love, and listening.

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Students Aren’t The Only Ones Who Learn Things at a Speech and Debate Tournament by: Cassandra Hornby

We cannot teach our young people to communicate effectively unless we ourselves communicate. 

Not all of us judge 14 rounds at our first ever tournament like someone I know, but if you are an adult at a Speech and Debate Tournament, chances are you will be roped into at least one round to judge. Why? Who can say “no” to the unbelievably sweet staff who beg so politely? 🙂 Okay really, in all seriousness, the tournament will screech to a halt if there are not enough judges to rank and critique the speakers, so in the event that you find yourself staring at a ballot here is my two cents on the indispensable role of a judge…

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It’s February… It’s EARLY!

We all know Speech and Debate is a long road! It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Or for those who know me, I love my football analogies… Speech and Debate is like a football season! If anyone would have told you it would be a Bengals vs Chiefs Super Bowl, they would think you are bonkers! The Chiefs this season were at 500 (won only half their games) multiple times this year. The two top seeded teams were taken out in the playoffs with home field advantage (sorry Titans and Packer fans). That’s why the term, “any given Sunday” is so relevant. Anything can happen!? The question is, what are you going to do with the time left?

Just because you won a tournament doesn’t mean you are on the top to stay. Or perhaps you haven’t advanced or broken in your favorite event. There are three months to continue to hone your skills… or call me crazy (which happens daily), start something NEW! Of course, you can start a new speech, or even debate in February! I have coached competitors, even National Champions that started a speech mid-season. Whatever you decide to do… DON’T GIVE UP! 

  1. Keep Growing. 
  2. Try New Things. 
  3. Seize Opportunities.

If you feel stuck- talk to a friend, parent, club leader, or even hire a coach! If you are bored, that’s on you… the possibilities are endless! If you hate your speech, find a new one! The opportunities for growth are sitting right in front of you! And remember, the art of communication is a life skill! What you put into it can last a lifetime, even if you don’t get a piece of metal or plaque that will eventually end up in a box or at the thrift store.

You Got This! 

Why Should Debate Be Part of Your Homeschool Curriculum by: Amy Eichholz

Amy Eichholz is part of the Lasting Impact! Teaching Team. She has graduated two sons and is teaching two daughters, still at home. Her journey in Speech and Debate started over a decade ago. She began as a novice parent, and is now preparing for her sixth year teaching Novice/Beginning Debate for the largest Homeschool Speech and Debate Club in Wisconsin. She is eager to see the transformation of another group of young students, both in person and online! Prior to homeschooling Amy taught fifth through twelfth grade. She will be teaching Debate Readiness for Lasting Impact! in the fall for ages 10-14. Sign up NOW or read her thoughts on why debate should be a part of your curriculum…

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A Speech and Debate Reflection by: Cate Baldacci

I love when students reach out to me saying the Lord put something on their heart and they want to share it with our community (yes, you could do that too!). The journey through Speech and Debate is unique, we are each are on our own path. Yet, I love where we intersect, learn lessons, and share what we have learned with others. Regardless of the year you had last year, I hope you can reflect back and think about what the Lord was pressing upon you… are you ready for a new season!?

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This Season – A Piece of Cake? By: Emalyn Sharp

One of the requirements of our Lasting Impact! Coaches is that they engage in tournaments, practice rounds, judging, etc. Really understanding the culture of the season! Yes! It can change from year to year! Take this year for example! Ha! There has never been a year quite like it! Check out, Emalyn’s latest experience…

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Lasting Impact! One Stop Resource

Ever caught yourself feeling unprepared for the upcoming season or generally in need of speech and debate resources? You’re in luck! From clubs, coaching, and mentoring to downloadable pdfs, Lasting Impact! has you covered! If you’ve ever wondered what the resources Lasting Impact! offers are, look no further! Lasting Impact! is available for all to enjoy, however membership does have privileges. Why do we offer a membership? Lasting Impact! is a community, think of it as a giant club! We have members all over the world. A few of the membership benefits are- receive discounts on coaching, clubs, and classes, as well as free access to our video gallery and the recorded workshops. Membership is ONLY $35 for the year!! As a Christmas and New Year’s BONUS you can use the code MEMBER5 for $5 off!!! If you don’t want to be a member but want to be up to date on what we offer, be sure you SUBSCRIBE to our website and give us your email on the right hand side of the HOME page.

In addition to the over 400 articles (and counting) posted at the Lasting Impact! site written for Speech and Debaters, in mind, as well as parents, coaches, and club leaders, here is an outline everything available in the lastingimpact.info SHOP (think Christmas gifts)…

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Lessons Learned Outside of Competition Through Speech and Debate by: Adrian King

I was your classic speech and debate nerd. For three and a half years of my life, I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into the sport that had become one of my greatest passions. Over the course of my Speech and Debate career, I went to numerous camps, outsourced ten different coaches, and heard more lectures than I can count. I attended 35 tournaments, participated in 220 debate rounds, and competed in every event except for Expository. You could say I was obsessed with Speech and Debate. But it wasn’t until my senior year was abruptly cut short by COVID-19 that I truly took a step back from the competition to reflect on my experience throughout my time in forensics. It wasn’t until my senior year that I actually understood the impact Speech and Debate had on my life, in both positive and negative ways. It wasn’t until my senior year that I realized the opportunities I wish I had taken and the lessons I wish I had understood.

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