MN Speech & Debate Club
During this Summer break, students learn to effectively communicate and advocate for themselves and others - to be a force for change. Our practice sessions makes student develop solid leadership skills, how to argue persuasively, engage the audience effectively, and become a confident public speaker. Students are assigned to the practice labs based on their skill levels. In these labs, they learn how to write their own speeches, construct arguments, and participate in debates.   

The camps are led by nationally ranked debaters. Guest presentations by the local academia will be included.

Course Format:
In class, hands-on sessions

Course Outline:

Day 1: Introduction

What is public speaking? Why is it important? (Group discussion)

3-5 minute speech activity

What makes a good speech?

  •             Content
  •             Organization
  •             Flow
  •             Entertaining
  •             Audience connection

Homework assignment: find a speech on youtube and think about the components that make it a good speech

Day 2: Types of Speech

Discuss various speeches and what made them so successful

Different types of competitive speech:

  •             Storytelling
  •             Poetry
  •             Oratory
  •             Impromptu speaking
  •             Duo Interp
  •             Expository

Focus on storytelling: Have students practice one section of selected piece and deliver it

  •             Inflection
  •             Clarity
  •             Memorization (not necessary)

Discuss oratory

  •             What makes up a good oratory speech?
  •             Strong/insightful thesis
  •             Arguments/points
  •             Interesting

Homework: come up with an issue and research 5-10 reasons true; attempt to create a thesis

Day 3: Oratory and Impromptu

Deliver oratory speeches

Impromptu speaking exercise

  • Prepare a speech and deliver it to group for feedback.
  • Discuss benefits/challenges of impromptu speaking.           
  •          What makes it easier?
  •          What makes it more difficult
  • Impoveoriginal speech.

Homework: Think of something you know a lot about and bring in pictures related to it – sports, music, etc.

Day 4: Expository, Debate

Explain expository/info speech to students

  •             Have students write mini speeches with their images
  •             Have students deliver speeches and learn how to use images
  •             What is this similar to? (Powerpoint presentations)

Introduction to debate

  •             What is debate?
  •             Why is debate beneficial?
  •             What is an argument?
  •                         Claim
  •                         Warrant (Evidence?)
  •                         What is evidence?
  •                         Impact
  •             Styles of debate
  •                         SPAR
  •                         Policy debate
  •             Flowing
  •                         Keeping track of arguments

Debate activity

  •             3 minute affirming speech
  •             3 minute negating speech
  •             2 minutes prep time for both participants
  •             1 minute closing speech
  •             1 minute closing speech
  •             Student comments/vote and why
  •             Discussion of how to evaluate a debate, using flowing

Homework: Find articles that make arguments and highlight individual claims and warrants
Day 5: Improvements


Discuss articles and evidence

  • Did students like speech/debate better?
  • Have students write speech about what they learned during the camp
  • Students should evaluate speeches and pass back evaluations to students
  • Discuss improvement
  • Fill out camp surveys

To be announced

Grades: 6th - 8th
Location: St. Barnabas Church

To Register, click on this link.