My Favorite, Bronze Book

Though this is not my bestselling book, it is my favorite: Bronze BookI’d like to explain why. If you aspire to be a champion speaker in Stoa or NCFCA — especially if you’re a coach — you’ll like this story.

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First, let me tell you about Ellen Densmore (pictured), one of the two editors of Bronze Book, who wrote the new educational chapters in the sourcebook. I’ll get to that in a minute, but let me quick highlight: Ellen won thousands of dollars in scholarships from the speaking skills she learned in speech, this being a picture from the American Legion. She’s now a student at Colorado Christian University with a significant amount of her college paid.

Just sayin’. Success in competitive speech can be worth thousands of dollars. But anyway, back to my story…

I started coaching speech as an assistant in the mid-90s. There was a seasoned coach who was considered the best in the upper midwest whom I was assistant to. One of her best assets was her ability to reference her experience coaching platform and literary pieces from years past.

She had a rich history of experience. In the middle of coaching a student or an entire class, she would perk up and say, “Oh! This reminds me of a speech from years ago!” and she’d run to her 4-drawer file cabinet and pull a folder. She’d then reference an actual speech from years ago as if that student were right there in the classroom with the students.

This is what Bronze Book does for competitors. We’re now five years into its yearly publication and we’ve amassed quite the learning tool for you:

  • NEW to 2014: Foundational chapters establishing guidelines for interp and platform strategy.
  • Three spotlight speeches with articles and explanation of the event.
  • An October 1 digital addendum of more speeches, adding up to at least 12 speeches.
  • Bonus Chapter: “Understanding Interp” by Travis Herche.
  • Digital access code to all previous books (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 editions) – over 117 archive speeches in all!

Another awesome feature: we’re releasing this August 1, just a few weeks away, our earliest release yet. Just in time for school.

If you are heading into the competitive year and want to take your platform or interp speaking to the next level, be sure to add Bronze Book to your homeschool library. You will not be disappointed.

Thumb through Blue Book with me…

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Conor McBride

    “Success in competitive debate can be worth thousands of dollars…”

    Some debaters have certainly earned prizes and scholarships. However, pursuing speech and debate with a goal of financial gain is just plain silly.

    First, there is so much entropy in competitive forensics adjudication, particularly at high-levels, that debating for money involves quite a gamble. There are plenty of lower-risk paths toward equal financial gain and scholarships (investing in a lawnmower and business cards, and a good SAT prep book for example).

    Second, once the cost of years of tournaments, travel, camps and attire is subtracted from any “winnings,” any net gain is probably modest at best.

    Third, college debate “scholarships” typically require students to participate on the college’s debate team. The time commitment required by college forensics is enormous. If the student acquired a paying job instead, she could probably make about as much money without all the toxicity of college-level debate.

    Finally, college debate students typically choose a liberal arts major. Technical STEM majors are usually too time consuming for college debaters to succeed academically while keeping their scholarship (ever wonder why so few college athletes are engineers?). Long term, that typically means financial loss.

    By all means, speech and debate are worthwhile endeavors. Allowing hope of financial gain to cloud one’s motives, though, is a recipe for disappointment and bad decisions.