It’s Speech Season… but what event should I do?

The Speech and Debate season is officially started - clubs have begun to meet, students are meeting with their coaches, preparations for the upcoming season are underway, and while competitions may seem far, far away to you right now, these next couple of months are actually critical time for the students who arrive at that first competition invested and ready. So, how to begin? Where to start? How do you decide what events you are going to do?

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Adding Rhetoric to Your Speech and Debate Club with Hillary Kolssak

I got to catch up with one of my favorite people in the last couple weeks... Hillary Kolssak is my honorary sis, a fantastic mom, a speech and debate coach, and now this year, she will be running a speech and debate club in the Chicago area. She is a wealth or information and knowledge! We are so blessed to have her share her insights with Lasting Impact! Last year she created a rhetoric program for her club. She saw the need for her advanced students...

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Pace your Race to the Finish

If you've taken a nice hard look at the schedule for the NCFCA National Championship this year, you know that the pace of the tournament is a LOT slower than usual for competitors.  More time is built in between rounds.  Two days are short days of competition.  Including Moot Court, the tournament will last for six days.  In my tenure, this is an uprecedented pace, and it is one you should definitely factor into your own personal approach for stamina and optimum performance.

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The Harms of the Compliance Mentality (JO)

I've been involved with my home school speech league for ten years.  Before that, I taught public school where I coached in a different league.  Before THAT, I competed myself in yet another league.  All of those leagues have operated  with rules.  Honestly, no one really loves rules.  We understand the importance of them in maintaining a level playing field, but we don't really love them.  Our human nature longs to kick against them and give ourselves more room.  And when we do, we are in error.  Becoming hyper sensitive to rules and every potential violation of those rules is the equal but opposite error.  It creates a litigious environment where we are on the look-out for rules violators we can haul off to the compliance team to be punished.   There are some dangerous harms in leaning to that side of the balance...

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Constructive Comments for Judges

If you have judged just one Speech and Debate tournament or even one round, you know how difficult it can be to find the right words... To encourage, to help, and to give good feedback. Typically, the student also wants to know why you also gave them the rank you did. If you find yourself at a loss for words... Here are some helpful phrases and critiques from Lasting Impact!

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Is This On? Get it on Camera

So, you’re running out of ideas for improving your piece. You’re wondering if there is honestly anything left to do to elevate your it to Nationals quality. But, maybe there is one more way to think of ideas for your speech…..watch a recording of it! I discussed with you a little bit ago the power of practicing in front of a mirror but have you ever reviewed your speech from the audience's perspective?

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Good Ballots, Bad Ballots, and What We Make of Them

We write a lot of them as parents (or alumni).  Competitors get an envelope of them after every speech and debate tournament.  And sometimes we have more to say about the ballots than we take away from the ballots!  What are these ballots, and how can both judges and competitors use the ballots to best effect during the competition season?

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