Speech & Debate


Click here for Syllabus and Letter to Parents


Due Week 2, Sept. 8Due Week 3, Sept. 15Due Week 4, Sept. 22Due Week 5, Sept. 29Due Week 6, Oct 6Due Week 7, Oct. 13

Verbal Communication

We’re going to be working on pitch, volume, knowing your audience, and speaking confidently.
a) Read page 15-21 in your book; visual aid & object speech
b) Example of an object speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oh510ZYFEs
c) Prepare a speech for your 1 Minute Challenge Question: What object in your life is a good representation of your personality. (Bring in the object or a picture of it.) Answer: what it is, what aspects represent your personality (and which do not). Your speech MUST be 1 minute but no more than 2 minutes.
d) Practice speaking to be heard across a room consistently without actually yelling!

a) Read “40+ Phrases to Create Positive Scripting for Customer Service”, attached.
b) Example of frustrating customer service, Zootopia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuniFG6ajGY
c) Prepare a speech for your 1 Minute Challenge Question: Week 3 Homework Challenge Speech:
1-2 minutes. You have been given the opportunity to start a charity with a million dollars. The charity will be dedicated to eradicating world hunger. What would be the named of your charity? Who would be the first people you would hire to help you? What are the first steps you would take?
d) Practice smiling while saying “no”.

Download (DOCX, 95KB)

This week you will prepare a short instructional speech. You will write out instructions for a simple task and a partner will follow your instructions and ONLY your instructions! Hopefully it works out just like you plan 🙂

Your speech should be about 4 minutes (no fewer than 3, no more than 6).  Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux2Fgt3hG2c.


Can you demonstrate for your partner? Yes. But you can not touch a prop. For example, if you are demonstrating how to use a fork, you can show the hand shape but not actually pick up a fork.

Can you tell your partner what you will be demonstrating? Yes. But they can not hear your speech ahead of time.

Can you read from your speech? Yes. In fact, you MUST. You may not watch your partner while giving your speech so having those instructions will be super-helpful.

Wait, WHAT? Yes. Your partner will be BEHIND you while you give your speech!! 🙂

Here are ideas for your speech at http://www.write-out-loud.com/demonstration-speech-topics.html and http://www.myspeechclass.com/demonstration-speech-topics.html.

You may NOT practice with your partner but knowing who it is may help:
Kylea to Martin, Martin to Becky, Becky to Kylea
Grace & Amanda
Kara & Liam
Zoomy & Ivy
Lavonia & Laila

Your 1-3 minute challenge question this week is this: The US Mint has decided to issue a $15 bill and they are NOT putting a President on it. They’ve put out a call for submissions on whose face should be on the new bill. You must nominate someone, give us a quick 20-30 second biography of your nominee and then tell us an anecdote that exemplifies what characteristics or actions that led you to choose this person.

The “Bad Speech”: The “Bad Speech” will be a speech based on the areas in which you want to improve as a speaker.  This is the comically bad speech. It is a 1-2 minute speech and you will be ‘workshopping’ it before you present. The topic can be anything but you will exaggerate the areas in which you want to improve.  If you use verbal pauses (uh’s & Um’s) then use these to an extreme.  If your heart races then try to make it race even more–put it through the roof.  If your face turns red when you are speaking then make it turn beat red.   If you talk too fast when you present then talk even faster.  If you have trouble maintaining eye contact then force yourself to not look up the entire speech.  Use self deprecating humor here if you want (you don’t have to).  Create a speech that is so horrible it is funny.  Don’t make up things that you don’t do!

This is not an impromptu speech.   This speech will take some preparation. This is an exercise in Paradoxical intention. A technique that is used to help individuals not avoid displaying their symptoms, but rather try to produce them, even exaggerate them.  They find, paradoxically, that the harder they try the less they succeed.  The self detachment found in humor is the dynamic that can break the vicious cycle of fear and symptom.  For this reason, paradoxical intention sessions are conducted in a light hearted manner.

Have fun with this speech. To create our fears and laugh at them, we are starting the process of diminishing them!

A) Example of all the things you may be worried about doing, a BAD SPEECH that includes too many examples :): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATfY8dvbuFg

B) Example of how to give a good speech by the founder of TED talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FOCpMAww28


(Note: our interviewing has moved to week 7)

OK, BIG week!!! We are working on your final speeches!!

  1. Challenge Speech (1 Minute): Choose a charity that is focused on ending world hunger and name one thing that you think they get right and how your fictional charity would emulate it.
    Here are some ideas: https://www.thespruce.com/charities-that-fight-hunger-1666012 and https://foodandnutrition.org/september-october-2013/7-top-hunger-organizations/
  2. Bring a rough draft of your full speech! You will be working with a partner 🙂

This week, you will be interviewing people for an imaginary job.

1) Ask an adult in your life for stories about interviewing for a job – what kind of process was it? What kinds of questions did they get asked? What was it like?

2) Now come up with questions that would help you establish the kinds of characteristics you would be looking for in a new team member. Pick 5 things like…

Ability to problem-solve?
Works well with others?
Poise under pressure?
Learns things quickly?
Attention to detail?
Able to deal with difficult people?
Able to follow directions?
Thinks on their feet (quickly)?
Good with numbers?
Hard worker?

…now come up with at least two questions that would help you discover if that person had that personality trait.

(questions Google used to ask: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Z567S8ViY)

Also, ask yourself how you show someone you are listening to them and are interested in them…

See you Friday!