Orators With An Objective

Contrary to popular belief, Speech and Debate isn’t just speaking and debating.


Rhyen Standridge

Natalie Walsh works diligently and prepares for upcoming Speech and Debate competitions.

Speech and Debate is an organization at FHC that most students have a general understanding. The team consists of freshman through senior students that practice and compete together at different levels. 

“Speech and debate is an activity much like a sport offered to high schoolers,” President Eli Allen, senior, said. “It involves the building of confidence, the improvement of communication, and better usage of critical thinking skills.”

The group is much more than just speakers and debaters, they also interpret acting pieces and read collections of poetry and novels. 

“While there are some boring speech events,” Treasurer Natalie White, junior, said. “There are also events where you can tell a story or perform a mini-play.” 

There are a few misconceptions with Speech and Debate, like that they’re all confident speakers or that they all like public speaking, which is not the case. 

“I think people see speech and debate and only visualize the oral speeches or the rapid fire policy debate,” Allen said. “But it’s so much more than that.” 

While it seems perfect, everything, including the team, has flaws. 

“We can be a little disorganized at times,” junior Carson Howe said. 

Some members also don’t particularly like public speaking and having to deliver speeches in front of a crowd. 

“My least favorite part of speech and debate is how the competitive nature can sometimes be hostile if you’re up against a highly competitive wealthy school,” Allen said. “But it’s almost never a problem, I’ve found speech and debate kids to be some of the best out there.” 

Like the team members said, speech and debate is much more than just long, boring speeches read aloud in front of a line of judges, it’s about working on presentation and or communication skills that can be extremely beneficial in the future. 

“The purpose of speech and debate is to perform events with topics that interest you,” White said.