Be a Pioneer! Try Biblical Thematic (or Any New Speech Event)

New Speech Events come along now and then. Some students want to sit back and watch and figure it out. Although that is a fine technique to use, I say, “Be a Pioneer! Get messy! Take chances!” Yes, I have watched a lot of Magic School Bus throughout the years, and I have learned valuable lessons from Ms. Frizzle and gang…

DO be a Ms. Frizzle – Take chances, get messy! Why not? Explore the category for yourself (or with your family), especially if it’s never been done. Talk about it. The more you talk, the more ideas will come! Go to a workshop on it, TONIGHT we have a Biblical Thematic Workshop where we will cover the ideas and things you can do in this event. If you can’t make it – look for the recording.

DON’T be an Arnold – Wishing you would have stayed home, is not going to enhance your speech and debate skills. You have the opportunity to learn new things, as well as be a better communicator. How cool is that!?

DO be a Dorothy Ann – Dorothy Ann always has her book with her. She knows the rules inside and out! Make sure you are coming at the new event by fulling understanding the rules first.

DON’T be a Phoebe – There is no reason to compare things to your “old school,” or events that happened in the past. This is a new year! Jump in and do this! Wishing things were different, isn’t going to make it so. Be in the NOW and try to find things you like about the event and run with that. Being negative and unwilling to explore the possibilities will leave you in the dust. Remember, there is growth in everything, even if you feel uncomfortable at first.

DO be a Ralph – Ralph always puts a smile on my face. He is making the most out of the situation and having fun with it! Remember to find the joy in new events – this can help you go a long way!

All of these examples can be applied to new speech events… whether they are completely brand new to the league you are in, or you are trying an event for the first time. Join Lasting Impact! through our articles, video workshops or live workshops. We want to help you explore YOUR potential through speech and debate. And remember, You Got This!

IO/Expos Tips from Nate Thompson, 2016 Champ

Are you on the fence about jumping on the IO/Expos bandwagon? Now is the time to check out what others have to say (including Nate Thompson) about this fabulous event! TONIGHT, Lasting Impact! will have a team of experienced speakers and constructors of “the speech event that uses boards and easel for visual aides”. IO/Expos is so much more than that! But don’t just take my word – come TONIGHT (sign up now). And don’t forget to read the article below…

Continue reading “IO/Expos Tips from Nate Thompson, 2016 Champ”

Extemporaneous – NOW is the time to try it! by: Steve Kish

Lasting Impact! has TWO opportunities to jump in to Extemp this fall! If this is something your club hasn’t been able to offer or you want more help and direction on how to get started… we have the answer!

1. Extemp Basics with Catherine Alles – Sun. Oct. 21 6:00pm CT

Extemp Basics with Catherine Alles

2. Extemp Excel with Steve Kish – Online 6 Week Club – Nov. 12 – Dec. 17

Extemp Excel Class (6 weeks)

If you still aren’t ready or sure you want to commit, read Steve Kish’s explanation on why Extemp is an important speech event to grow your speech and debate skills…

Continue reading “Extemporaneous – NOW is the time to try it! by: Steve Kish”

JOIN US!! Workshops this Week- IO/Expos, Biblical Thematic, and Extemp – Oh my!

Whew! It’s a big week at Lasting Impact! We love what we do! If you haven’t had the opportunity to partake in one of our Lasting Impact! Online Workshops this is going to be a great week to join us. Here is what people from all over the country are saying about our online sessions…

”I didn’t think I needed a club to do Apol- I can do things on my own, right? But there is no replacement for the group knowledge and community support that you get with the online Apol club. I’ve been so challenged but also blessed to be a part of something bigger than just competition— learning things from brilliant teachers like Joel or Matthew that are helpful even outside of the competition room. When I say I recommend it, I don’t say it flippantly. Joining a Lasting Impact! online club or workshop is something I promise you won’t regret.” – Ethan, student, TX

“Mrs. Neumann’s workshop on cutting your piece (for interp) was so helpful. I’ve been competing for three years and she showed me things I never knew were possible! I think some rules are hard to understand so it was awesome to be able to talk through them and really delve into the “do’s” and “dont’s” of script writing. I definitely recommend it to anyone planning to perform an interpretation speech!” – Ellen, student, NE

“The Online Workshop experience is great for students and parents who are interested in learning about brand new categories. Mrs. Eskelund’s analysis of Oratorical was educational while allowing you to brainstorm while you listen.” – Gloria, student, WI

“The IO/Expos Online Workshop was such a big help to us in generating ideas and more importantly the nuts and bolts of the supplies needed. There is hardly any information out there on Illustrated Oratory/Expository but Lasting Impact’s workshop filled the void.” – Debbie, parent, FL

“Lasting Impact! has been one of the most influential tools for my speech and debate journey. It has equipped me with the tools to speak in a manner that glorifies God! I am extremely thankful for their resources. I would encourage anyone, who wants to become a better speaker, in any capacity, to join Lasting Impact!” – Mark, student, MI

Join us this week for one of these awesome Online Workshops…

Exploring Biblical Thematic – Fri. Oct. 19, 6:00pm CT

Exploring Biblical Thematic with Heather Neumann and Kristi Eskelund

All About IO/Expos – Fri. Oct. 19, 7:30pm CT

All About Illustrated Oratory/Expository with Heather, Kristi, and Guests

Extemp Basics with Catherine Alles – Sun. Oct. 21, 6:00pm CT

Extemp Basics with Catherine Alles

Here are some reasons why you should want to tune in…

  • Opportunities for growth
  • Exploring new ideas
  • New perspectives
  • “Golden Nuggets”
  • Fantastic and Experienced Coaching
  • Tips for success

If you can’t make live workshop, we do try to get the workshops recorded. See here for a complete list of RECORDED Workshops…


We hope to see you soon! You Got This!

The Power of Persuasion – Workshop Sunday!!

pərˈswāsiv, pərˈswāziv

Definition- good at persuading someone to do or believe something through reasoning or the use of temptation.

“an informative and persuasive speech”

synonyms: convincing, cogent, compelling, potent, forceful, powerful, impactful, eloquent, impressive, influential, sound, valid, strong, effective, winning, telling;

Being a good communicator, MUST include understanding the Art of Persuasion. Did you read all those synonyms for the word “Persuasion”? Now, who doesn’t want to do that?? I have heard it said that EVERY speech has elements of persuasion. And I believe that! In our life, we use persuasion daily. You see, persuasion is not just a tool for speech and debate students. It is a skill for life. The way you present yourself or your ideas can affect whether you get an A on a verbal exam, get out of a speeding ticket, or what to have for dinner. And that was just yesterday!!

You see, our role as good communicators is to persuade others to understand our viewpoint (and hopefully they will agree with you). This is a life skill, not only for those selling a product, but for anyone relaying information. Knowing how to convince people of your perspective is an asset for life. Can you imagine the positive outcomes?

Here is what Isabelle Clausen had to say about her Persuasive Workshop this Sunday 10/14 at 7:00pm CT…

Have you ever gotten into an argument with your mom and wanted to learn how to convince her that she was wrong and you were right? Or have you ever gotten into a debate with your sister about who is the favorite child, and you wanted to convince her that you are, and always will be, the favorite?

Well, I can’t promise you that I’ll be able to help you win arguments with your family members, but I can guarantee that I’ll be able to help you learn the art of persuasion for speech and debate. Not only will you learn how to be persuasive and use the primary tools of rhetoric within speech and debate, but you will also learn how to use these skills in your everyday life (of course excluding debates with your mother!😉).

Persuasion isn’t just about how you write out certain arguments; rather, a primary part of it is how you introduce the arguments, what tone of voice you have, and what kind of conversational hand gestures you use.

At my workshop, I will teach you the basics of how to write a persuasive thesis statement, how to carry that statement through your points, and how to challenge your judges to take part in your call to action. Likewise, I will also teach you how to apply persuasive rhetoric in your daily life, such as at school/co-op, with your friends, in your future career, and as you witness about Jesus Christ!

I can’t wait to see you at my workshop this next Sunday, October 14th, at 7:00 PM CT time!

To sign up CLICK HERE.

“Big Picture Argumentation” (WORKSHOP SAT) by: Luke McConnel

Often times debate students, whether it be LD, TP, or Parli, often have trouble seeing past the debate round when it comes to their impacts. While there is nothing wrong per say with wanting to win, if we are not able to show the judge(s) the implications of our logic and arguments in the real world, we will have missed what debate is all about. Luke McConnel will present their case for Big Picture Argumentation in his  Online Workshop this weekend (Sat. Oct. 6, 11:00am CT). Read on… or sign up HERE.

Continue reading ““Big Picture Argumentation” (WORKSHOP SAT) by: Luke McConnel”

Lasting Impact! October and November Online Workshops and Classes

Can you believe it’s October, already?! It’s prime time to start digging deeper into Speech and Debate. If you haven’t had the opportunity to partake in one of our past Workshops, sign up NOW and don’t miss out on all the ideas, tips, and valuable information!

Signing up for an Online Workshop is easy!! All workshops are through an online forum called Zoom. It’s a quick and easy download that your instructor will send to you, as part of their introduction email (usually within 24 hours of your workshop). We do try to record all our workshops, but can’t guarantee how quickly they will be up and ready on our site. Click HERE to see available recorded videos.

Check out the list of the fantastic line up of Online Workshops and Classes coming directly to you, in the comfort of your own home…


Sat. Oct. 6, 11:00am – Big Picture Argumentation with Luke McConnell
$5 members/$20 non members

“Big Picture Argumentation” is an argumentative strategy that allows you to prep better for rounds, know all the vital details of your case, unlock the lost art of conversation, and overall appear more professional and persuasive to your audiences. This is for ALL types of debate!!

More students and coaches need to learn “Big Picture Argumentation.” It is a very simple argumentative strategy that will allow students to connect better with their judges. One of the aspects of the strategy includes pre round and pre tourney prep. If students want to win debate rounds, they have to earn it. Furthermore however, if they are not able to clearly communicate to the judge why the judge should vote for them, aka how they won the round, all their hard work means nothing. This strategy gives them the ability to break the barrier that prevents judges from really capturing the meaning of their arguments.

Sign up HERE.

Sun. Oct. 14 7:00pm CT – The Power of Persuasion with Isabelle Clausen
$5 members/$20 non members

Speaking persuasively is a skill that is extremely powerful in every area of life: speech and debate, college, the workforce, conflict resolution, and ministry. However, as powerful as this skill is, it takes much practice to perfect. That is why I created this workshop, so you can learn how to speak persuasively not only in Speech and Debate, but also in your daily life! Once you learn and practice these techniques to develop this skill, you can impact the world for Christ in a whole new way!

This online workshop will be covering the following topics:
– The purpose for the persuasive speaking event
– How to develop a persuasive argument by finding the “crux”
– How to look at a topic from both sides
– How to develop and strong and strategic thesis statement
– How to format your points in your speech
– How to use personal stories to create a connection with the judge
– How to add lasting impact to your speech (see what I did there 😉)
– How to apply these skills to your daily life

Sign up HERE.

Fri. Oct. 19, 6:00pm CT – Exploring Biblical Thematic with Heather Neumann and Kristi Eskelund
$5 members/$20 non members

Join Heather and Kristi as they explore the new NCFCA Interpretive Speech Category- Biblical Thematic. We will break down all the possibilities!!
– Encouragement and excitement for Biblical Thematic.
– How to incorporate Platform and Interpretive speech types well.
– Learn ideas of how to use your binder as a prop.
– Help with how to choose a theme.
– Tips on how to embrace BT.

Sign up HERE.

Fri. Oct. 19, 7:30pm CT – All About Illustrated Oratory/Expository with Heather, Kristi, and Guests
$5 members/$20 non members

Come learn all about one of our favorite speech categories! Almost every platform speech can be enhanced by visual aides! So why not turn your platform speech into something so much more!? Join us, and an amazing panel of IO/Expo experts! We will dispel the myths that only rich (the boards and supplies are too expensive), artistic (I’m not creative enough) type people can do this event.

Sign up HERE.

Sun. Oct. 21, 6:00pm CT – Extemp Basics with Catherine Alles
$5 members/$20 non members

After having competed in Extemporaneous for three years, Catherine Alles has gone through stages of failure and success- including winning tournaments and making it to Nationals. In this workshop, she will be going over some basic tips on organization, how to spend your prep time, how to incorporate humor, how to prepare for tournaments, and how to make your speech stand out. If you are thinking about competing in Extemp or looking for ways to improve, this is a workshop you won’t want to miss!

Sign up HERE.

Wed. Oct. 23, 8:00pm CT – Finishing Strong in Debate with Eric Meinerding
$5 members/$20 non members

Finishing Strong: How to Give Winning Rebuttals (LD and TP). This will be another strategy/theory workshop. Eric will be going over time efficiency, reading the room, identifying strong/weak arguments, and some rhetorical tips as well.

Sign up HERE.


Nov. 3, 10:00am CT- How to Judge LD Debate with Joel Erickson
$5 members/$20 non members

Back by popular demand… Have you ever stared blankly at your LD ballot in judge hospitality, stymied by the complete incoherence of the debaters? In this workshop, veteran LD coach Joel Erickson shares some practical pointers for judging LD. You’ll learn an intuitive way for evaluating LD rounds, what to do when debaters don’t refute each other, what to say (and not to say) in your judging philosophy to prompt the debaters to debate well, and how to write a ballot that debaters will want to read. Joel will talk for about 25 minutes, then devote the rest of the time to answering your questions. Hope to see you there!

Sign up HERE.

Nov. 5, 7:00-8:30pm CT – Writing Winning Speeches with Rebecca Frazer
$10 members/$25 non members

Join Rebecca Frazer for a dynamic speechwriting workshop aimed to help you take your platform speeches to the next level. From thesis formation, to writing hacks, to persuasion techniques grounded in social science, Rebecca’s workshop is sure to bring new insight to speakers of all levels.

Rebecca is the 2012 NCFCA National TP and Persuasive Champion. She has a B.A. in communication and is currently earning a PhD in Communications.

Sign up HERE.

Nov. 12- Dec. 17, 8:00pm CT – Extemp Excel Class (6 weeks)
$40 members/$60 non members

Extemporaneous is often considered a nuanced and nebulus event in competitive forensics. This idea stops here. During Extemp Bootcamp, you will learn the ins-and-outs of extemporaneous speaking — speech writing, research methods, and tips/tricks developed from years of experience. My goal for each student is simple: to be able to approach each extemp speech with confidence and courage. Extemp is not the scary monster overconfident competitors like to make it out to be. It is a fun and rewarding experience once you learn the ropes.

Join this Extemp Class to jump start your season! Whether or not you are new to Extemp, this class will cover everything you need to push you to be a better Extemporaneous Speaker!
– Card Writing
– Research
– Sources
– Resources
– Building Credibility
– Practice
– And More!

Sign up HERE.

We hope to see you soon! Thanks for making Lasting Impact! part of your Speech and Debate journey!

Effective Communication While Debating by: Catherine Alles

Debate is really just a formal structure that helps us have a conversation about whether or not we should choose to make a change. At it’s core, it’s just a conversation, but there are ways we can improve our communication skills which will help us elevate our debating skills above just arguing with your siblings, friends, or parents. When we show up to a formal debate, we don’t just want to impress our judge with our arguments, but also our speaking ability and persuasiveness.

In this video, “Elements of Effective Communication”, I’ll be going over some basic communication tips, like eye contact and body control, but also going deeper into what it means to be a well rounded speaker, using ethos, pathos, and logos, and some do’s and don’ts to improve your skills.


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.

Remember THIS Saturday Oct. 6, we have Luke McConnell presenting his workshop on Big Picture Argumentation. For more information or to sign up CLICK HERE.

Why Oratorical Might Be a Great Place to Start (Workshop TONIGHT)

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to think about Oratorical when NCFCA announced this new speech categories. But I did what I usually do, and waited to pass too much judgement until I could fully explore the event. Now, after months of coaching it at camps and workshops, Kristi and I think it might be the perfect place to start! If you aren’t sure, read on, or attend our Online Workshop tonight… CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP 

Or read on…

Continue reading “Why Oratorical Might Be a Great Place to Start (Workshop TONIGHT)”

A Guide for Speech Preparation by: Chiara Baldacci

Every tournament at script submission, if you listen, you’ll hear numbers of people complaining (but really bragging) about how little time they put into their speeches. You can almost hear the debate about who has stayed up the latest memorizing and writing. People take pride in their procrastination—especially when they go and win a tournament. But health, sanity, and excellence are all far more important than your pride—and your cramming skills. Pace yourself. You will achieve a higher level of excellence and a lower level of stress…

Continue reading “A Guide for Speech Preparation by: Chiara Baldacci”