This week, my family and I have been supporting my brother as he competes in speech and debate at the last level! He did awesome! We're so happy for him!!
As I have been sitting working on writing, I have been remembering so many memories from the past couple years when I competed. There have been so many things I have learned!
While there are many technical details I have learned from speech and debate, there are also several life lessons that apply to each one of us. So even if you don't compete or participate in speech and debate (though you definitely should check it out!), I hope that this encourages you. :)
1. How to win (and lose).
I think every single competitor can think of a time when they should have won a debate or placed higher in a speech.
It just happens. Sometimes there's a bias. Or an unfair advantage because someone broke the rules. Or sometimes the other competitor might be a bit underhanded. While these don't happen all the time, they sadly do happen.
Speech and debate is a great place to learn about handling victory and defeat. It is an amazing training ground! Let's quickly look at both real quick:
You might not be competing in duo interpretation or impromptu, but we all need to learn how to win and lose with grace. To look at the lessons instead of becoming bitter.
2. Benefits of camaraderie
When my brother made it to the next level in debate, it was so encouraging to see the camaraderie as they came to support him! There had to be at least 15 people who came to watch and cheer him on.
We have been blessed to be part of an amazing region (Go Region 2!)! The amazing sportsmanship, encouragement, and team effort is such a blessing!
When we first started, we were blown away to see kids praying with each other before they would give a speech. On one occasion, I remember a whole hallway of kids joined in a huge circle as we held hands and prayed that we would do our best. We prayed for everyone to do their best? This may seem like an unusual concept, but I was blessed to meet several kids who weren't focused on the trophy, but that we would glorify God.
Even though we were competing with each other, we had a sense of camaraderie - we were in this together.
Sometimes we get so focused on the competition in life we miss the moments to encourage one another. Can you encourage someone today?
3. Giving Results to God
You've just given you're speech. It was a flawless performance. In fact, all three rounds have gone fantastic. But there are still so many factors in play. What about the judges? What did they think? What about your other competitors - were their rounds perfect as well?
There's way too many variables.
I love competing in illustrated oratory - a speech with presentation boards. Both years I competed in this event, I was very passionate about my topic. At the end of tournament, as I put my boards back in IO storage, I would stand next to my boards by myself and give the speech to God. I never knew if I would give it again that tournament - but I knew it was in His hands.
God knows what we need - if we need to win, or lose. He knows what is best for us and ultimately our end result.
I think this was the most important lesson I learned through speech and debate - I need to give everything to the Lord. I need to leave it in His hands. He can hold it better than me. I'll just worry about it if I hold onto it! And you know what - He never failed me. He always did what was best for me - even if that wasn't first place.
Whatever situation you are facing right now - give it to God. It's safe in His hands!
I hope these few lessons I learned through speech and debate encourage you! Have a wonderful week!
Hi! My name is Hannah, and I enjoy playing piano, writing, hanging out with my family, and spending time with my Lord and Savior. Hope you are blessed!