Speech and Debate Gives Kids Their Voice

Speech and Debate helps students get comfortable with public speaking


Sydney Davis

Speech and Debate takes place every Wednesday in Ms. Franke’s room.

Josh Deters, Reporter

Speech and Debate is a club that meets every Wednesday after school at room 226 and crafts an argument and supports your own opinion. The club has various meets and tournaments members can compete in.

Speech and Debate member, senior Lucy Hunter, had a bit to say about the club. 

Hunter was inspired to join Speech and Debate so that she could improve her public speaking skills.

“When I was a freshman, I felt like I needed to work on my public speaking skills. It was one of my weaknesses and so I felt like taking  Speech and Debate would supplement that,” Hunter said.

Hunter also had some tips for speaking in front of an audience.

“Speaking in front of an audience is mostly mental, right? Like, you have to focus on not messing up your words, making sure that you’re taking in the correct points that the other team is sort of doing, so it’s a lot of back and forth so that’s why when I do it, I do it with a partner. That way, I can focus on what I am saying and my partner can focus on what they are saying,” Hunter said. 

Hunter thinks it’s important for her peers to be interested in current world events. 

“It’s important just to know what’s going on. If you aren’t well informed then you can form opinions on topics that matter in the future and matter right now,” she said.

Hunter feels like the skills learned in Speech and Debate are very important throughout life.

“I feel like they help me a lot. Whenever I am doing something in class and I have to present a project or something  or just have an argument with someone, it helps me formulate my thoughts a lot better.”

Hunter speaks about famous speeches she enjoys getting inspiration from. 

“Oh yeah, like the ones from the primaries, the debates the presidential nominees have is a really good sense of issues on a global level and issues on a United States level,” she said.

ELA teacher Ms. Franke is the Speech and Debate club sponsor. 

Franke talks about how she ended up becoming the Speech and Debate Club Sponsor, having already had experience in the role by the time a spot opened at LHS for it.

“So I have actually been coaching speech and debate for 23 years,” she said.

Franke talks about the importance of the skills learned from the Speech and Debate Club.

“Speech and Debate is all about communication and that is a skill that no matter what you do in life, you’re going to have to be able to do. You have to be able to communicate verbally, and written forever. It’s a skill that you’re going to use for life and it doesn’t matter what (speech and debate) event you choose you’re going to get at communication,” she said. 

Franke hopes to see an increase in Speech and Debate this year.

“I would like to see our numbers increase by 50% this year. I would like to see you know, 10 to 12 kids per tournament if possible,” she said.

It is not too late to join the club, either. You are welcome to send Ms. Franke an email or visit her during SOAR Time in room 226 to ask about joining the club.