Cold Feet Speech and Debate by: Stacy Edmond

Why participate in speech & debate? The thought of those two little words or actually participating in the activity can send chills up your bones, resulting in cold feet!

Maybe you are the younger sibling of a totally awesome and really experienced speaker, or you have friends that are in a debate league and talk incessantly about writing cases, attending tournaments and attending club meetings with friends. Maybe your parents are talking with you about getting involved in speech & debate or you’ve been around other students in homeschooling circles who actually get excited about speaking IN PUBLIC, and you’ve thought things like, “they’re crazy!” OR “They are WAY smarter, than I am!” OR “That’s not my personality, I could NEVER do that!” If any of that sounds familiar, I’m here to share some important points and I want to begin by letting you in on a couple of secrets…

Even the very best, most experienced debaters have at one time or another, thought some of the same things! Everyone new to speech and debate feels some, if not all of these emotions when thinking about speaking in front of others! In fact, studies have shown that fear of public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders or heights and this fear affects about 73% of the population! *

So, if you share this phobia, you are clearly not alone! Here’s the thing though, YOU CAN DO IT!

As a former debater in High School and a “survivor” of public speaking classes in college, I am living proof that even if you think you can’t do it, you just need to jump in and try it! You will be pleasantly surprised! Public speaking was such a big fear for me and surprisingly enough, I went on to be a corporate trainer later in my career, traveling the country and training teams of people in various business settings. If someone would have told my younger self that this would happen, I would have never believed them!

Currently, I have the privilege of coaching LD debate and it is one of the joys of my life to see students start the season nervously, questioning whether or not they can do it and then watch them learn, stretch and grow throughout the year. The sense of accomplishment experienced when they understand how far they have come and what they are actually capable of, is so rewarding!

Whether you choose to try speech, debate or both, the best thing to do is pray and remember that you can do all things through Him who strengthens you…and He will! Don’t think about the future and worry about the details, just take it one step at a time. The support you will get from coaches, parents, fellow competitors and teammates will be amazing! Step by step you will learn and grow and accomplish things you never thought possible…and that’s a great lesson for life! Pray, trust God and take the next step! All of us at Lasting Impact are waiting to help you in your speech & debate journey! Remember, You Got This! Cuz, He’s Got You!

Don’t allow yourself to get cold feet. Lasting Impact! has a variety of clubs and classes to get you feeling prepared for the Speech and Debate Season, not to mention LIFE! Check out all our Clubs HERE. Check out all our Classes HERE. Register today! Space is limited! And if you want to come to Camp and get cross training in both Speech and Debate, click HERE.