Speech and Debate

*can be repeated yearly as assignments/topics will change*

Speech and Debate is a valuable competitive performance class. First semester we will focus on “Speech”. Speech events sharpen speaking and/or acting skills.  Second semester we will focus on “Debate”.   Debate teaches students how to participate in the rational exchange of ideas and arguments as they relate to significant social issues. 

This course explores a wide variety and range of public speaking skills, including: Extemporaneous Speaking, Declamation, Original Oratory, Oral Interpretation (prose and poetry), and Storytelling at the novice level. Additionally, students are introduced to basic researching, argumentation, questioning, and rebuttal skills through a variety and range of debate disciplines, including: Congressional Debate, Public Forum Debate, and the basics of philosophy for Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Skill focus includes the development of techniques in diction, articulation, enunciation and projection. Students begin to analyze pieces of literature, create and deliver orations, write arguments, and evaluate performances.  Through research and practice students will become familiar with these various styles through instruction, research, and practice. Students begin to analyze pieces of literature, create and deliver orations, write arguments, and evaluate performances. Students are required to perform in class and may have the opportunity to attend competitions through extracurricular programs.


This course is designed to help students:

  • 1. Gain confidence and experience in public speaking
  • 2. Perform a variety of speeches in class that require expositive, persuasive, debate,
  • parliamentary, and interpretive skills
  • 3. Locate sources through research and differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources
  • 4. Incorporate sources into speeches and conversations in order to support a position
  • 5. Differentiate between fact, opinion, and fact-driven opinion
  • 6. Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to look at both sides of an issue
  • 7. Develop an appreciation for opposing viewpoints
  • 8. Develop an awareness of posture, vocal quality, personal appearance, and verbal and nonverbal communication in all speaking situations, including personal
  • interviews
  • 9. Exhibit a logical arrangement of ideas in writing and in speech
  • 10. Exhibit the ability to draw logical conclusions from critical evaluation of facts and ideas.

Class homework assignments:  Moderate- regular weekly work on research and speeches, performance in class


Time: 10:45-12:15
Grades: 9-12
Cost: $350
Supply Fee: $150 (all supplies provided)
Tutor: Debbie Vaughn

In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom, I will make the following adjustments to this class.  Tutor and students will meet at the scheduled class time via a video chat service. Class discussion and assignments regarding monologue projects will be held during this time. Written assignments can be submitted electronically, and personal feedback will be provided in the same manner.  Script development will also occur during online meetings, as well as line readings. Group projects and group collaboration will be encouraged via online methods, but adjustments will be made as needed.