Using Humor In Debate (Video) by: Catherine Alles

Humor, when used correctly, can be a huge asset in a debate round, a great tool for your debate toolbox. When used incorrectly, humor can damage your credibility and/or likability. In my opinion, those who have truly mastered debate are able to incorporate humor in seamlessly in an engaging and relevant way.

In this video I’ll be talking about how to use humor in debate: telling some pretty cringeworthy stories of my attempts at humor, giving some examples of funny quotes to use, and some do’s and don’ts…

Catherine graduated high school this past year and is taking a gap year to do a business internship through the program “Praxis.” After that, she is not sure if she will go to college or pursue other career paths, but she is interested in business, politics, and loves cooking, biking, and traveling. As a coach, she is passionate about helping debaters actually understand the arguments they are running, and focusing on quality over quantity of arguments. Catherine competed in TP with NCFCA for 5 years, and qualified to Nationals all 4 years of high school, finishing first in at-large her junior and senior years. She enjoyed partnering with both her older sister and younger brother, both of whom taught her very different skills. She won four debate tournaments over the years and was honored to get a 4th place speaker award at Nationals in 2015.

Tips for New Competitors at a Speech and Debate Tournament by: Gloria Heiss

“I’m walking on sunshine (Wow!)
I’m walking on sunshine (Wow!)
I’m walking on sunshine (Wow!)
And don’t it feel good”

Why, you ask, did I start this blog post out with the chorus to, “Walking on Sunshine”, by Katrina and the Waves. Well, besides the fact that it is a great song, we sometimes have to be reminded to walk like we are on sunshine.

Have you ever felt “meh”, “ugh”, or even “ew” while at a speech and debate tournament? I’m here to tell you that we have all been there; from the seniors who are pros, to the beginner twelve year olds. Don’t forget sleep deprived moms, grumpy siblings, and coffee-needing judges. Sometimes, just once in a while, someone might say, “I wish I wasn’t at this speech and debate tournament!” I know, blasphemous. But true!

Despite all the fun that goes on at a speech and debate tournament we have to remember that a tournament is going to drain us. No matter how much coffee we drink, or monsters we chug, or mini power naps we take we are going to feel that “meh” slipping into our system. And judges can pick up on those less than chipper vibes. So, I’m going to challenge you to do the seemingly impossible….do not let it affect your performance. Just being aware that you are in a “meh” mood can help you prevent it from deterring from your experience.

Here are some suggestions of things you can do to relieve stress while at a tournament:

1. Put in some headphones and listen to music. Tune out to get you tuned into doing your speech. But be careful not to tune others around you out.

2. Make conversation with fellow competitors in the hallway, but remember to do it quietly. Getting to know others can maybe calm your nerves. Maybe you will meet someone who is just as nervous or someone willing to pray with you.

3. Go to the bathroom, look yourself in the mirror, and strike a power pose. I know it sounds weird but scientifically it should make you feel like you are ready to roll!

4. Don’t be afraid to inform others about your mood. Maybe some mom will have an essential oil on hand. (Hehe) No, but really, there are often new competitors that may feel “a little nervous” or “blah” too. If you had a bad round, talking about it, and then moving on is the best approach. One bad round will just make you stronger.

5. If nothing else, find small things to make yourself smile through the day. Play cards with friends, do a spontaneous photo shoot, or go watch speech and debate rounds (just be sure you don’t have somewhere to be).

Another competitor had this advice-

1. The first thing you can do that really helps, is to set aside 10 or more minutes to run through your speech before you go into your room. Find an empty room, hallway, or wall, and run through your speech like you are going to in the room. Might I suggest that you do this by yourself, because friends can be distracting and you should be doing your speech like you are going to in competition.

2. The second really helpful thing that you can do, especially if you are really nervous, is to talk to people. Find someone that you don’t know very well, and just engage them in a conversation. Talk about something that you both enjoy! Talk about sports, movies, anything that will get your mind off of speech! I find this really helpful, especially right before I go into the room to give my speech.

3. The last and most important thing that you can do before you go into your room is to pray.  Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Paul is saying that when you are nervous, anxious, or excited about something, anything, pray to God about it. Pray by yourself, pray with friends, pray with your family, communications staff, which you will find to be extremely friendly, and anyone who you can find before the round. Trust me when I say that praying before each round and even before every tournament is extremely helpful. Now, don’t go in thinking, “I’m gonna pray that I will win the tournament”. Go in thinking, “I’m going to pray that whatever happens in the tournament, God will be glorified.” Try to pray for people as well. I have found that when I pray with and for other people, it helps me to calm down before I go do my speeches.

I have personally found all three of these things to be helpful while I’m at a tournament. I try to run through my speech before every single round to keep it fresh in my head, I am usually pretty social, so for me, talking to people is no problem, and I always make it a goal to pray by myself and with as many people as possible before every single round.

Now with this advice I hope you don’t think I’m telling you to act like everything is rainbows and unicorns and leprechauns at a tournament. It’s the fact that things do get exhausting and dramatic that we need ways to relieve stress in order to function properly before going into competition. I have used these techniques in the past to get myself through a round. I hope they prove to be successful for you too so you can go into your room like you’re walking on sunshine. 😉

Meaningful Apologetics – How to Give Meaning & Depth to Your Apologetics Speeches by: Chiara Baldacci

For the longest time, I thought Apologetics was about having an answer: knowing how to combat lies with truth, knowing how to explain the depths of the Christian faith, etc. But Apologetics isn’t about having an answer, it’s about knowing how to communicate truth to people’s hearts. When I realized that, it revolutionized how I approached apologetics.

Continue reading “Meaningful Apologetics – How to Give Meaning & Depth to Your Apologetics Speeches by: Chiara Baldacci”

Twelve Days of Christmas… Before a Speech Tournament

The Speech And Debate Season is quickly upon us. We hope you are able to celebrate the blessings of the Christmas Season. Put your Speech and Debate work down for a day or two. It will be there after the holidays. In the meantime we hope you enjoy our little poem…

On the first day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
An Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the second day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Two Time Pieces
And an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the third day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
And an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the fourth day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the fifth day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Five First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the sixth day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Six “How-To” Videos
Five First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the seventh day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Seven Minutes of Prep Time
Six “How-To” Videos
Five First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the eighth day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Eight IO/Expos Boards
Seven Minutes of Prep Time
Six “How-To” Videos
Five First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the ninth day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Nine Impromptu Prompts
Eight IO/Expos Boards
Seven Minutes of Prep Time
Six “How-To” Videos
Five First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the tenth day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Ten Tears for DI (Dramatic Interp)
Nine Impromptu Prompts
Eight IO/Expos Boards
Seven Minutes of Prep Time
Six “How-To” Videos
Five First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Eleven Laughs for HI (Humorous Interp)
Ten Tears for DI (Dramatic Interp)
Nine Impromptu Prompts
Eight IO/Expos Boards
Seven Minutes of Prep Time
Six “How-To” Videos
Five First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my Speech Coach gave to me…
Twelve Fresh Breath Mints
Eleven Laughs for HI
Ten Tears for DI
Nine Impromptu Prompts
Eight IO/Expos Boards
Seven Minutes of Prep Time
Six “How-To” Videos
First Place Ballots
Four Extra Pens
Three Days of Coffee
Two Time Pieces
and an Idea for a Really Great Speech

Lifting you up as you continue to prepare for your season!

Student, Teacher, Competitor… By: Eric Meinerding

How to develop the triple threat of being a club leader, as a student…

So, you’re a student leader in your club? You now have to balance your own busy tournament preparation schedule with the obligations you have to your club. If you’re attempting to rework your IO/Expos boards the week before a tournament where several novices are panicking before their first tournament, it could seem like you have a little bit too much on your plate. But luckily, these dual responsibilities aren’t as insurmountable as they may first appear. Being a student leader while a competitor can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will have while participating in speech and debate. It gives you a unique perspective on forensics and, as a teacher, you will come up with new ideas that you normally wouldn’t have considered as only a competitor. I’ll be discussing some different methods to ensure you can succeed as a club leader or captain while also growing as an orator and logician…

Continue reading “Student, Teacher, Competitor… By: Eric Meinerding”

Cross X Series #4: Keys to Undermining your Opponent’s Case by: Samuel Hand

CX designed to undermine your opponent’s case is a lot like CX designed to support your case, with two key differences: you don’t know what your opponent is running ahead of time, and the questions aren’t written beforehand (usually). Judging from these differences, you may think that you’re doomed to wait until you hear your opponent’s case and then pray you come up with something intelligent to ask… let me discourage this thinking. While you can have strokes of brilliance in the moment, just ​thinking​ a bit about the resolution can give an idea of what you might want to ask.

Much like I can’t tell you what questions to ask to support your debate cases specifically, I can’t know what your opponents are going to run. However, I can give you the keys (learned over the course of several years) to attacking your opponent’s case in CX.

Continue reading “Cross X Series #4: Keys to Undermining your Opponent’s Case by: Samuel Hand”

Cross X Series #3: Solidifying your own Case by: Samuel Hand

You have an inherent advantage when writing questions to build up your own case: you know exactly what you’re running in said case. This means that, with proper guidance, you can know exactly what to ask. While I can’t tell you which questions to write for your specific case, I can give you some principles which will hopefully make those questions much easier to formulate. Before I do, though, let me tell you what not to do.

Continue reading “Cross X Series #3: Solidifying your own Case by: Samuel Hand”

So Thankful for Our Lasting Impact! Team by: Gloria Heiss

Ahhh, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought it fitting to start the season off with a small crash course of our coaches, whom we are so thankful for!! Let me begin by saying I have seen the skills of almost all these fabolous public speakers and know that they are going to be incredible coaches to you all. I love that they believe in the mission behind Lasting Impact! and want to see students excel in public speaking, empower coaches and clubs, and equip parents with the tools to see their students succeed. Now that I am done with all that mushy gushy stuff let’s get down to BUSINESS…

Continue reading “So Thankful for Our Lasting Impact! Team by: Gloria Heiss”

Thankful for YOU! Small Business Saturday SPECIALS

How cool is it that we have products that you can get your hands on TODAY! We are giving all of our fantastic customers, of whom we are so thankful for, $5 OFF OUR LASTING IMPACT! EBOOKS!!

Just use the code – 5MEMBER

NEW! Speech Games and Ice Breakers

A must have for any Club Leader or Coach. I know I hate reinventing the wheel when it comes to Speech Games or Icebreakers that I want to implement in class or a workshop. That’s why we created this book! No more scouring the internet for a game to play. In fact, our book is geared around “target skills” for you to be able to help your students hone in on! Does your club need help with limited prep, characterization, or delivery? We have you covered! Check out the over 40 different games, plus variations to get you and your club energized, engaged, and practicing the skills they need to succeed!

The Ultimate Duo Handbook

 

Those of you who know Kristi and I, know that Duos are near and dear to our hearts! Together, we have had a Duo Team in Finals at Nationals for almost the last decade. The Ultimate Duo Handbook was one of the first resources we created- lots of practical information including color pictures, character worksheets, a duo compatibility worksheet, picking a piece, tips from a pro, and more! If you are doing a Duo – you will want this book!

Lasting Impact! Vol. 1 and 2 –

Our first two years worth of articles in a convenient place! The articles are all on the website, but now you have them organized in categories- Debate, Interps, Platform, Limited Prep, Delivery, Tournaments, and so much more! These articles are key to use throughout the season, whether or not you are a club leader. Although it is handy, as a club leader, to reprint an article here or there (yes- we give you permission to do that)! If you could use an extra pep talk, a burst of motivation, another way to analyze speech and debate- grab these guides!

Check out all of our products HERE. Remember, you can get $5 off each of the Ebooks. Thank you again for being being a part of Lasting Impact! Thankful for YOU!

 

Thankful for Members! Why Membership? Small Business Saturday SPECIAL DEAL!

Now is the time to tell your friends and become part of the Lasting Impact! Community! We are offering $5 off our Lasting Impact! yearly Membership. That’s right! ONLY $30 for a full year of Lasting Impact!

Annual Membership Subscription and Q/A

 

Simply use the Code – 5MEMBER

Why should you become a member to Lasting Impact?

1. Discounted Coaching Sessions. Coaching sessions are $10 off a session for members (only $30 a session). We have amazing coaches ready to make you a priority and help you in your speech and debate journey. Our coaching prices have been streamlined to fit all your needs, whether it be for private coaching, club coaching, speech or debate. Our membership prices are actually below other coaching firms, nor do we require you to pay for bulk sessions or per Debate/Duo partner.

2. Discounted Workshops. This fall we hosted over a dozen live workshops that were only $5 for members. If you weren’t able to make one of the sessions, we now have them archived in our Recorded Workshops. 

3. Discounted Classes/Clubs. We had over 75 students/members enrolled in our Fall Online Classes. People from all over the country learning, gleaning, sharing…

3. Access to ALL articles. Did you know we have almost 250 articles?! Sure, just a little more than half of our articles are just part of our regular blog, however there are so many articles specifically geared for the membership. In fact, anyone can be sure to “subscribe” (on the right hand side of the home page) to get our emails directly into your email inbox.

4. Access to Video Gallery. There are over 50 amazing speech videos, most you won’t find anywhere else. Be sure to look in the comment section for coaching tips.

5. Access to Lasting Impact! Library. NEW this year! A place for clubs to share their resources. Remember, clubs and coaches are welcome to use our resources, whether it be articles or videos to share with their club.

6. Community. This is where our heart is! We created Lasting Impact! for students, parents, coaches, and clubs! We wanted a place for YOU to feel encouraged and inspired. It is a place for stories to be shared, as well as lessons to be learned. We feel so grateful, as well as blessed to be a part of so many lives! During this time of Thanksgiving, we thank you for making Lasting Impact! part of your Speech and Debate journey. Remember, $5 off a yearly membership is our gift to you and your friends! Feel free to help our community grow.