Speech, Debate Team In Full Swing

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February 7, 2018

Public Speaking is the number one fear in America, but the school has a way to demolish that fear once and for all by creating the Debate/Public Speaking Club. This new club officially started this year with head advisor Dr. Deborah Keller Mitchell and lead president senior David Lee.

“There are two parts to the debate and speech club. The first is a debate team where if you were going to sign up, you would practice debating two different sides of an issue. Then you would go into competition and you would debate another team by drawing out which side you’re going to be on. The whole idea is being prepared for both sides,” Keller Mitchell said, “Both sides get a chance to state their claims they listen to the other side and they get to rebuttal. So it’s a competition between who can make the most points for their side. In the speech one we have different categories for speech for those particular categories. There is a competition so you would give your speech and you’re timed. Usually you want to try to do with as few notes as possible. It’s off paper,”

Keller Mitchell mentions that anyone can sign up. The club’s goal is to get started and have a small team so they will be prepared to go competitions next fall.

“Right now we have about a dozen people who have showed up and who are interested. I would like that to be like 30 or 50 people would be the best so we can actually provide a topic and debate it amongst each other in a friendly manner. In a controlled atmosphere instead of screaming,” Keller Mitchell said.

Lee says that he inherited position as president when he was just a sophomore. A few years ago the club was just an idea but nothing fully established until this year.

“Before I graduate is to have something established for next year. Hopefully by time I leave and then next few year they will be competing and established themselves like nationally or in the state competitively,” Lee said

The club meets every Thursday morning at 8 a.m. in room 230. They are working to get their name out there by

putting it on the our website, putting posters and sign ups and making announcements in the morning.

“We don’t have to do it before school. Right now we are interested in looking at everybody schedules. Trying to find the optimum time where we can come in the morning or in the afternoon. We are pushing now for sign ups so we can establish a schedule and what it is, so people can look at what areas they want to concentrate in. Then start a big push next fall right now do some practicing and run through so they kind of know what to expect,” Keller Mitchell said.

Lee mentions that his favorite thing about the club is having a logically reason to talk to someone. Keller-Mitchell says that her favorite part is seeing all the different people in the school come together to practice how to get better at talking in front of crowds and that is what sparked her interest in the group as well.

“I love to do debate. I think it’s amazing. Also I think that public speaking or students speaking in front of crowds is a lost art. So I really want to push that idea of oral speech is happening because we spend so much time on our phone. I know students who won’t even pick up a phone call because they don’t even want to talk to somebody. So I think there’s a need to push that out there, I think we need people who speak and who can debate in front of other,” Keller Mitchell said

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