Hard work pays off for speech and debate

Speech and Debate’s recent competition was a Novice Invitational on Nov. 15 at Ladue High School. The end result was three semifinalists-two in improv, one in prose- and two finalists in prose. One of those finalists was Alex Callier. She placed second overall in prose.

“I am very happy, I really did not think that I would get second,” Callier said. “To be honest I was completely blown away that I got second.”

There were fourteen people in the last competition. According to Head Coach Theresa Maher, the students practiced everyday after school, and put in at least an hour of practice at home every night for the competition. Maher likes helping the students prepare for the competitions.

“It’s a chance for me to be with kids who enjoy the same things I do,” Maher said.

Sophomore Smitha Milli participated in the Lincoln Douglass Debate. This is a debate between the Republican and Democratic parties. Milli put a lot of effort into her speech, and liked to prepare by getting pumped up.

“I feel like I’m a different person,” Milli said. “Like when I’m in Congress I feel like a Republican.”

A lot of practicing went into the competition. The members wrote out their speeches, did research, and practiced how to deliver speeches. But at the competition, some members had to create a speech right there on the spot.

“You’re always going to need to be able to talk in front of people,” Maher said.

Participating in the Novice Invitational opened up the students to current events. It also made them more comfortable with public speaking. There were 15 different categories in the competition. It’s not always just making a speech. Sometimes the students act things out.

“There are so many different things [in Speech and Debate]; a lot of people don’t understand it’s not just formal speeches,” Milli said.

By Nick Bussel