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After being on somewhat of a hiatus…I’m back, and I’m busier than ever! Why? Well, I am a competative speaker and debater with the NCFCA, which stands for National Christian Forensics and Communications Association. This means that all year long I attend many club meetings and compete at multiple competitions in my region, which is Region VIII, and it just so happens that I have a competition coming up in a little over a week. You might not think that’s a big deal, because I have a week to prepare. That would be true if I was only doing one speech or one debate. However this is not the case in my situation. I am doing one type of debate a minimum of six times and five speeches – two of which I added just a couple weeks ago. And so, I have just over a week to master all of them. Now…you might be wondering what kind of speeches and debates I will being doing, and I’ll tell you so that you can understand why it’s crunch time up in my house. 🙂

First, we have the debates. I am doing a type of debate known as Lincoln-Douglas. If that name sounds firmiliar to you, that’s because it’s named after the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. It a one-on-one style of debate different from team policy, which contains two teams of two. In Lincoln-Douglas debates we are arguing for a certain side of a resolution, either from the Affirmative point of view or the Negative point of view. For example, this year’s resolution is as follows: When in conflict, governments should value fair trade above free trade. Lincoln-Douglas debate is pretty complicated. Basically, the two sides of the resolution take a value (something that is important and can be upheld by your side, fair or free trade) and try to effectively prove to the judge(s) that their side works better than the others and can uphold their value and, if possible, the other sides value as well. Lincoln-Douglas debate has definitely helped me grow in my persuasive and reasoning skills, and it helps that I find it enjoyable to do. 🙂

Second, we have the speeches. As I said above, I will be doing five speeches. In the NCFCA world we call this “Iron Manning,” as you are only allowed to do a max of five speeches. The types of speeches that I will be doing are seperated into two categories: Limited Preparation and Interpretation. In Limited Prep. I am doing Impromptu and Apologetics. For Impromptu, you have two minutes to prepare for a five minute speech on a topic you don’t know you are getting until you walk into the room. The topics can range from single words to questions/table topics. For Apologetics, you have four minutes to prepare a six minute speech on a Biblical question or statement you also don’t know you are getting until you walk into the room. However with Apologetics, you have spent the whole first half of the year preparing cards on the possible topics that you could recieve. The questions or statements could range from Explain the meaning and significance of the Trinity to Why would a loving God create Hell. Overall, these types of speeches have definitely challenged me on my speaking skills, but I know that these skills will help me in the long run. Now…let’s move onto the Interpretation category. I am doing three different types of interpretations – Open, Duo, and Oratorical. Both Open and Duo are where you take a piece of literature and perform it. The only difference is that in Opens it’s only one person acting out the story, and with Duos it’s two people. I’m doing my Duo with my brother. Oratorical is different from Opens and Duos. In this speech you are taking one or two non-fictional speeches with a common theme, putting them together, and acting them out as the one who gave the speech. In total, all Interpretation speeches must last for a max of about ten minutes. I love acting, so I find all these speeches pretty fun.

Alright! These are all the debates and speeches I will be doing in about a week. The good thing is that I have already done one competition with four of the six events and they went pretty well, so I’m sure everything will be fine.  Anyways, thanks for reading about my crazy week of preparation that is ahead me. So long for now!

S. E. Bussard