Novice Speech & Debate Camp ( 6/17/2013 to 6/21/2013) – CLOSED

June 17, 2013  |  9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Grade Level: Rising 8 - 11   |  Class Cap: 16

Course Fee: $559 (breakfast, lunch & snack provided)

Course Description:

The Novice Speech & Debate Week is designed to introduce the beginner students to several of the spontaneous events that form the core of competitive speech & debate at area high schools. We begin with a basic introduction to spontaneous and extemporaneous speaking skills and to each of the competitive events, then advance into event-specific discussions in each of the four areas covered, and finish with practice time in each. Practices can be videotaped using student devices for continued development of skills after the class has finished.

Morning sessions run from 9:00 – 12:30; afternoon sessions run from 1:30 – 4:30. Each day, lunch and snacks will be provided. Please bring whatever you need (e.g., sweater) for spending the day with us.

Who should attend?

  • Rising 8th  – 11th graders
  • Students with no prior background in Speech & Debate
  • Students who want to get a head start in Speech and Debate before joining a Club
  • Students who aspire to explore different kinds of speech and debate options

Daily Schedule:

Day 1   Essentials of Effective Public Speaking. This session presents fundamental speaking skills and techniques for managing nervousness, and engages students in exercises to build speaking confidence. Students will deliver short, well structured speeches to start our week.

Day 2   Introduction to Spontaneous Speaking. Being prepared to speak on a topic with very little time to prepare can set you apart from others. In this session we will review each of the three spontaneous events used in competition: Extemporaneous, Impromptu, and SpAr (Spontaneous Argumentation). Students will practice each new type of spontaneous speaking.

Day 3   Introduction to Parliamentary Debate. The ability to defend your ideas is critical to influencing and motivating others. Parliamentary debate is spontaneous; topics change for every debate. Two-person teams use the time before the round starts to write a case for the given resolution. Students will have exposure to basic rules, topic analysis and case writing, with a practice debate to put into practice new information learned.

Day 4  Introduction to Public Forum Debate. In this relatively new style of debate, debaters argue a topic of national importance, typically one involving foreign or domestic policy, making persuasive and logical arguments in a manner that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences. Students will learn the basics and try their hand at it before the day is out.

Day 5   Introduction to Lincoln Douglas Debate. Our final session together will focus on one-on-one debating. This type of debate deals with philosophical values and what ought to be, rather than on what is or should be. The session will include rules, topic analysis and case writing, and a short practice debate to round out our time together.

Special Instructions: None. Students will be given notebooks for their use during the week. Laptops are not required.

Registration for this class will close 48 hours before the class begins. If you have not yet registered your student during those final 48 hours, please contact us so that we may confirm whether seats are still open for the class.


Teri Young

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Teri Young coaches students on their interview and public speaking skills. Teri brings a passion for working with high school and early college students and two decades of experience teaching students to think on their feet and communicate effectively. Teri has a Juris Doctor focusing on Oral Advocacy events and Moot Court competitions. After building a career as environmental counsel, she left legal practice to pursue her interests in critical thinking and oral communication, which led to a Master's degree in Communication Studies. In addition to teaching communication studies at several universities and colleges in Ohio and California, Teri has extensive experience as an avid debater, coaching high school and college academic speech and debate programs. She has prepared her teams to compete in tournaments at Stanford, UC Berkley, and across the country. Teri served as faculty at San Jose State University for eight years and at De Anza College for twelve years.