Club Planning – How do you inject FUN into Speech and Debate Club?

I know what you are thinking? How do you inject any fun into club if we will be meeting online? What will Speech and Debate look like next season? I am hear to tell you – it CAN be done! I have been teaching, coaching, and leading clubs (and now directing tournaments) ONLINE for four years!! Like everything else – it just takes practice!! Give yourself some time. You Got This – Cuz He’s Got You…

Kristi Eskelund, veteran Speech Coach and Club Leader says this, “Fun is SUCH an important aspect of any successful club. Yes, there has to be learning, but if it isn’t fun for students they won’t want to come, and parents won’t want to keep dragging them there! For competitive age teens, fun involves opportunities to be social, to play games, to share food or have outings. Even if we are digital this fall – it can be done! This MUST be part of your program. I’ve seen clubs make things too serious and professional, and they eventually die a slow death.

Another factor I’d say is important is the personality of the club leader. Is this person fun or is this person all business? You NEED the all business types to help run admin things, but you need a FUN person directing student activities. This personality will be infectious and keep students engaged.

One last thing – you need freshness. A club cannot run the same program year after year. Students typically spend 4-5 years as competitors and if you are shaking things up for them, they will go solo those last couple of years after they figure out how it’s done. Seek new activities, if you can – go on outings, bring in speakers, research different materials. Have a new theme for your club every year and see who best exemplifies it. Save blooper photos and stories and have a blooper banquet now and then. Have an open mic poetry night. Do paper plate awards. Plan parties like a murder mystery party and let kids play all the roles. Or have an international night and require a researched presentation board or digital presentation for each booth. There are so many ways to apply the skills we need to fun activities.”

We will be having our next club leader meeting next Monday, June 29, 2020 – 12:30pm CT. We will be covering how to explore digital options in this virtual world. To be added to the call, contact Heather –