Speech and Debate readies for Iowa competition


Lia Kelly

Junior Max Layden perfects his argument.

Mac Stone, News Editor

1 in 68.

Many schools ETHS Speech and Debate are up against when they travel to Iowa for The Paradigm at Dowling Catholic from Dec. 8-10.

These 67 other schools come from 15 separate states and three different countries, and all of them come in ready to win.

“The Paradigm is going to have both teams competing at it, which is good,” coach Jeff Hannan explained. “It’s rare for us to get an opportunity to have both speech and debate at one tournament, because a lot of tournaments have only one or the other.”

Additionally, the Dowling Paradigm will host competitions in all three debate types. The first, Lincoln-Douglas debate, is a one on one competition where debaters discuss ethical questions. The next Public Forum debate, is a two on two debate type where debaters receive a new topic each month. The third and final debate type is Policy debate, where debaters face off in a two on two debate with the same debate topic year round.

“To prepare, you really need to practice,” senior Gabi Senno explained. “Two weeks before a tournament I’ll edit my speech. The week after, I’ll focus on memorizing it and delivering it. If I really want to do well I’ll do this a month in advance.”

The judges at the competition will be randomly picked, but the team will be prepared, regardless of who they are.

“We try to learn about various judges because we’ll see the same judges over and over again,” Hannan said. “We try to learn about what they would like to see in a debate or a speech performance. On our team, however we want our students to appeal to the broadest audience possible.”