Seattle Academy Speech and Debate

How many tournaments are there, and when are they?

There is a schedule link to click on to your left. Speech and Debate is unlike being on a sports team in that you pick and choose which meets you want to go to and sign up for them in advance on the board in the Speech Room.

A tournament will generally occur on Friday evenings (debate only) and Saturday (speech events and debate together) for most of the day. We do leave early and sometimes come back late, depending on the location of the tourney.


What kinds of speeches do the students do?

Here's a brief rundown. If you ever have questions beyond this, your first stop will be your Event Captain.

Original Oratory – 8-10 minutes on persuasive topic of student’s choice, student-written, memorized.

Expository - 7 minutes on informative topic of student's choice, student-written, memorized.

Dramatic/Humorous Interp - 8-10 minutes from a play, memorized, student playing all parts.

Dual Interp – Two man version of the same event.

Program of Oral Interpretation - 8-10 minutes of combined poetry and prose on a single theme. Read during performance.

Extemporaneous – Student has choice of two current event topics, then is given 30 minutes to prepare a 5 to 7 minute speech, researched from the team’s files constructed throughout the year.

Impromptu - Student has choice of three broad, lighter topics (quotes, names, etc.) and has six minutes to both prepare and speak on one.

Public Forum debate - two on two debate on a preset monthly resolution with alternating speeches.


Does this cost anything?

The team budget eats the lion’s share of the fees for each tournament, but we do ask the students to pay any hotel or airfare costs in the event of an extreme “away” meet.


Can parents come watch?

Absolutely! Parents are welcomed and downright encouraged to come and visit tournaments and watch rounds! As long as you bring us snacks.Seriously, Saturdays can get long and kids need to either bring food with them or have money for buying food at the concession areas provided as most tournaments do not allow students to leave the campus.

Be warned: If you do come, there is a good chance I will put you to work! I NEED JUDGES! I do not have much of a judging pool and I generally have to provide one judge for every 5 or 6 kids I take to a tournament. You can learn everything you need to know to get started in about an hour and I will teach you!


What am I gaining from all this?

The finding of your own voice. Ability to research, write, and present. Confidence and training in the art of oral communication. A constant education in current events both political and otherwise.

And of course, on the tangible side:

Colleges LOVE debate!

It’s an old story, but it bears repeating:

Colleges LOVE debate!