Maturely Mining Your Ballots by: Kristi Eskelund

No one likes to feel judged, but how can you be a winner, unless you have judges who weigh your performance against a set of standards? Do you know how many times I’ve seen students look ONLY at the ranks on the ballots and then toss them aside? I’ve also seen students discount a ballot because “it was only from a community judge” or “that guy didn’t know anything.” These are not mature responses to ballots.

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Impact! Tip – Personal Ethos by: Kristi Eskelund

Ethos is a difficult word to understand and even more difficult to effectively apply to your own efforts as a speaker. It’s a not-so-novice item for certain! Let’s see if we can begin to understand it a bit, and how we can apply it to Speech and Debate... and ultimately beyond!

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Understanding and Adjusting to Online Delivery by: Kristi Eskelund

If you are competing in Speech and Debate this year, the likelihood of you competing online is HIGH. Some people may think, "no big deal," but I strongly advise to walk in (to your bedroom and virtual room) prepared!! Sign up for the Lasting Impact! Online Prep Workshop HERE. We will be covering 20 items that we hope you are considering with your online set up- the difference between virtual and in person, how you debate, how you judge, positioning, and more! The workshop will be recorded and is included in the price! Don't take my word- read Kristi's article, she has taught online, judged online, and her son has attended school online. Listen and read her understanding on how you need to think about your online environment...

We didn’t foresee COVID-19, or the shut-down that ensued in its wake. We CAN however see that the tide has perhaps taken a permanent turn toward more online communication. There are certainly trade-offs, but the paradigm IS shifting. Employees and students ARE seeing that they can be productive in a remote environment, and in many cases, they are enjoying the very flexibility that has always marked the home school community. I think we can safely say that a percentage of college instruction, office meetings, sales negotiations, etc. will continue to stay online for the foreseeable future. While some of that programming may shift back, you are likely going to have to learn to be powerful and compelling as a communicator in the online format. Even the not-so-novice speaker has a learning curve here...

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Adding Personal Perspective to Speech and Debate by: Kristi Eskelund

If we are going to talk about YOU as a speaker (and we are!) then you need to begin to know what your perspective is on the things you are going to talk about. Perspective in your point of view.

Let me break that down:
Your – influenced by your own experiences and encounters and background, etc.
Point – the direction of your thoughts
of View – the way you are looking at things

See, your perspective is yours. As you move beyond the ranks of a novice speaker, you will stop writing and saying the things you think other people want you to write and say, and you will begin articulating your very own thoughts, gleaned from your very own experiences, based on the things you encounter with your very own senses. You will share perspective with other people, but unless you can identify something as your own perspective, you will not be a genuine and authentic speaker...

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Ready… Not Ready (How to survive signing up for a Speech and Debate Tournament)

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” Apparently, Mary Poppins had never signed up for a Speech and Debate Tournament!! Ah- the STRESS!! First there is IF you are going to sign up… Are your parents making you? Are your speeches written? Do you have a case yet? Just breathe! Let us be your guide… your own little Mary Poppins to help you navigate the task set before you. How to survive signing up for a Speech and Debate Tournament…

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For all you, Speech and Debaters (and Coaches and Clubs) Start Where You Are – Aim Where You Want To Be

Who's having trouble getting started right now? On anything...

In the wake of extensive 'shut downs' and tectonic shifts of our existing paradigms, most of us are having trouble gearing up to start anything back up. Nothing is working the way it has in the past. Nothing is clear about what comes a month from now, or even next week. There seems to be no long-term vision or goal that feels attainable. That makes it hard to start. And yet...start we must. It's a new beginning.

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Add Fun to Virtual/Online Club – 11 Virtual Games Club Leaders Should Try

It's a whole new world!! Is the thought of running your speech and debate club online getting you down? Heather Neumann, Founder of Lasting Impact!, has created a whole list of virtual games, activities, and fun, regardless of what online platform you are using (these could all be done in person too). Check out these great ideas on how to engage, interact, and connect with your students online this year. Remember, although club may look different from years past, students still want the opportunity to get together, express themselves, and grow through the art of communication! These game are easy and fun! Let me know what you think, and remember- You Got This!

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Help! I don’t know how to judge an Interp speech!

I am actually privy to this sentiment fairly often.  Parents mostly know what they like best when they watch interps.  They might even know why they liked it best over some other interp. But they want to know how to say that articulately to the students on the ballot.  The point of this post is NOT to tell you what should rank higher than something else but to help you identify the bits and pieces that are part of any interp…bits and pieces that you can talk about from your own perspective on your ballots, giving students bits and pieces they can actually work on after the tournament. I was recently in a club meeting where the leader asked the students to share the most helpful comment they had received on a ballot.  The students struggled to find one.  I want students to have LOTS of helpful, useable things.  Things they can take to club and say, “can someone show me how to ___________?” Or “can someone help me change ___________?”  I want things filling in those blanks for our kids!

So here goes….How DO you look at an interp speech?

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The Biggest Mistakes I See Students Make in Interp Speeches

I’ve been at this a LONG time – teaching students how to manage the interpretive speech.  It is definitely a purist endeavor that relies on the student alone to create the entire context suggested by a reduced segment of a piece of literature.  There is nothing easy about it.  When it’s done well, it really works.  As students strive to reach that mark, I find that they make the same basic mistakes along the way, and these fall into two basic categories: technical mistakes and ownership mistakes.  Let me explain….

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