Brooke Whiting - Staff Writer
Want to learn how to win an argument with your parents and even win competitions with these competitive techniques? Come join debate! Hannah Adams, a member of the debate team explains, “I joined debate because I wanted public speaking experience and I found myself using public speaking more and more in high school. I found that I needed to gain those skills, plus it looks great on a resume!” There are many scholarships available for public speaking and/or debate so for those students in need of scholarship opportunities this a great way to gain some skills in order to get scholarships.
Adams continues, “We also have a great family community here and so it’s really fun when we get to do tournaments. My favorite part of debate is probably being able to create an entire story, a speech, or a message from something as simple as a word, a phrase, or a quote.”
Public speaking isn’t the only field where these skills are useful. The ability to maintain eye contact and formulate an argument in an interesting way are great skills in the work force. Another member of the debate team, Caleb Uhl gives his input on the team, “I was actually introduced to debate by my friend. He was on the debate team and he was transferring out of the class we had together first semester to debate second semester, and I joined and I loved it. It’s a fantastic program.” Uhl also mentions, “I think other people should join debate obviously for the skills it helps people cultivate, so it helps you be a better public speaker, it builds your self confidence, just everything you can think of with speaking and oratory related stuff it helps with.”
Like any other team, strong friendships are built and a lot is learned through experiences, in this particular field especially. Skills in speaking and writing are invaluable in college, jobs and even at home. Because of debilitating use of texting on grammar lack of speech eloquence continues to grow, writing and speaking skills are highly sought after by most colleges and workplaces. According to an article written by PBS entitled Forensics and College Applications, “students who demonstrate success in extracurricular activities which give them real-world skills like critical thinking, oral and written communication, and the ability to organize ideas and present them effectively perform better in college and turn out to be successful alumni who give back generously to their alma mater.”
Not only are the skills learned in debate helpful to get attention from colleges but the ability to “organize ideas and present them effectively” will help performance in classes throughout college in the long run. But when are these tools in speaking helpful now, in high school? According to Uhl, “You use them everywhere! Church, arguments, day to day conversations, and in future careers and interviews. They’re important to learn because they're so ubiquitous.”
Learning these specific ways in speaking can help with carrying on everyday conversations with friends, family or even classmates. There is a reason why so many people have gained the love of the public, especially on television, is because they are great public speakers! They know how to command a crowd and win arguments through great organization of their thoughts and ideas. Martin Luther King Jr, with his “I Have a Dream Speech” captured the hearts of thousands of people because of his fluency and ease with words and his ability to present his ideas eloquently. So if a student out there wants to gain the skills to speak and gain the attention of people through words than debate is the place for you. This can be very great class to take for anyone thinking of doing anything that involves a lot of speaking. So stop debating about it and join!