Photographs by: Akshay Sharathchandra and Jinny Park
November is upon us, and even though many students have begun counting down the days to December break, some have begun preparing for the exciting and upcoming IASAS Forensics and Debate tryouts. With 4 forensics events and debate to choose from, there’s truly a variety of ways that students can express their talents in public speaking. However, with all these options, some students may not be sure what to try out for.
Forensics president and 2-year IASAS OI (Original Interpretation) delegate, Malvika Subramaniam, says she chose to explore OI, due to it’s uniqueness from the other Forensics activities. “I [did not think it was] your average speaking event, where you need arguments and/or a structured outline”, she says. She also noted that the skills such as speaking and voice modulation techniques that she had mastered in drama performances and classes, came into play, in this event.
Co-debate coach and advisor, Mr. Curry, notes that there are a variety of skills that speakers should harness to achieve their full potential. For debate specifically, he mentions that debaters need to be able to think critically and on the spot, construct effective and solid arguments, and be able to work as a team. Since debate is the only Forensics and Debate activity that involves a team, it could be the reason for it’s already large, and growing popularity. For example, Sophomore debater and Tennis player Jessica Zhang was drawn to debate for this reason. She states, “I like participating in individual-based sports, but I like to have teams in academic activities.”
Since IASAS Forensics and Debate is being held at ISM in early March, the Forensics club and coaches are already very excited for it. “I think we [will] have a ‘home-court advantage’, to an extent” says Extemporaneous speaking coach, Mr. Hutch. He notes, “The judges remain impartial (of course) but the extra support from the community may help the speakers.” Mr. Curry hopes that because the events are being held here, there should be more publicity and awareness of the different activities, and what they hold. “Because it’s here, we want to get as many people interested in seeing some really exceptional talent”, he says with a smile.
When asked about advice for aspiring Forensics delegates, Malvika states that everyone should try and remain confident in what they do. She mentions that a first-time rejection shouldn’t put someone down, rather they should take it as an opportunity to see what they can do to nail their tryout the next time. She says, “Without practice and persistence it’s going to be hard [to improve]!”
Cheer on your fellow auditionees within the next few weeks, as IASAS tryouts officially head into full swing! For some events, there is an open-door policy to watch people trying out – just check with the coach beforehand!
Debate – Mr. Curry
Oral Interpretation (OI) – Ms. Arndt
Original Oratory (OO) – Ms. Thompson
Extemporaneous Speaking – Mr. Hutchinson
Impromptu Speaking – Mr. Cook