Speech and Debate

The Thomas Jefferson Speech and Debate Team is a CHSAA sport that will be meeting Mondays and Wednesday afternoons on Google Meets starting the second week of school (email me at lauren_palek@dpsk12.org if you are interested in joining the team and would like the join code). Our competitive season runs from October–April.

By following the creed and regulations of the National Speech and Debate Association (or the NSDA), we will build and improve upon the foundations of communication you would learn in a language arts class, add the creativity and fun of a drama class, and build a skill set that will leave you well equipped to take on any profession (not to mention, this will look AMAZING on your college applications). Please email lauren_palek@dpsk12.org for more information and to join the team!

Judging Materials:

Online training course



Why Join?

This sport 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. Become proficient in research techniques, including Internet research, newspaper research, periodical research, and primary research (interviews).
  6. Increase their working knowledge of current events.
  7. Differentiate between fact, opinion, and fact-driven opinion.
  8. Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to look at both sides of an issue.
  9. Develop an appreciation for opposing viewpoints.
  10. Develop an awareness of posture, vocal quality, personal appearance, and verbal and nonverbal communication in all speaking situations, including personal interviews.
  11. Exhibit a logical arrangement of ideas in writing and in speech.
  12. Exhibit the ability to draw logical conclusions from critical evaluation of facts and ideas.

Competition Schedule:

Once the 2020-21 virtual tournaments have been finalized, check back here for our competition schedule, which will  include the dates and times of our competitions for the season.

Lettering Requirements:

As a CHSAA sport, students have the opportunity to letter in Speech and Debate. The requirements for lettering are as follows:

  • Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Students must compete in at least four varsity NSDA tournaments during a single season
  • Students must meet the merit requirements to join NSDA (including at least 25 points earned in competition, and completion of a service element through outreach or fundraising).