This is a picture of my daughter giving her speech to her friends and siblings. She’s performing today at the Point Loma Classic Speech & Debate Tournament. You can barely see her flat-brim cap behind her expos props, but she’s working at it.
I’m quite proud of Lydia – and all 14 from my club who made the cross-country trip for competition. She is the Extemp Speech Titlist of 2011, and she’s aiming for Ironman awards in 2013. She’s a senior this year, so she’s aiming high, reaching for the best year.
I wish I could take some credit for Lydia’s success, but the older she gets, the less I can claim any. See, she loves perparing for speech and debate. Seriously, there is no forcing her or coercing her. She does it all on her own. In fact, I took this picture in the living room of the condo we’re staying at in Coranado: the kids were skipping the beach for speech practice!
What planet did these teenagers come from? [Tweet this.]
I believe there are three special realities in speech and debate that lights up the teenager to action.
- This is creative. Lydia is doing a speech on breakdancing, something she loves. You don’t have to force an artist to create, and this is Lydia’s art.
- This is community. These friends are best friends. They will encourage and uplift each other throughout the weekend, and they love seeing one another do well.
- This is challenging. These kids are trained to “think, speak and persuade.” When fully engaged in this reality, the kids have a ball.
Lydia and her friends – and the 200+ students competiting today for the tournament – are encouraged to be creative, part of a fantastic community, and they challenge themselves and each other. Perhaps these are secrets to success for teenagers.