Why Keynote Speakers Are So Important (especially these two)

Debate camp is academic—understandably so. Students learn rhetorical strategies, new vocabulary, and drills throughout our five days together. But I have found that a keynote address from someone with a reputable message helps bring it all into focus. I’m changing things up a bit this year, and this will interest (perhaps include) you.

Platform Conference

I’m pretty sure I’m the only debate camp that does this. I bring in a keynote speaker—someone who is not part of my debate-coach staff—to speak to the registrants about the greater value of the debate activity. Most of the five days is spent learning and scrimmaging, but one evening is reserved to enjoy a public speaker.

Over the years Training Minds (the organization from where I run these camps) has enjoyed some big names: Ken Davis, Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg, Jeff Myers, Bill Armstrong, and others. These public speakers bring a punch to the greater purpose of the debate activity in a number of ways:

  1. Keynotes help bring perspective beyond the focused attention of debating, giving a “big picture” understanding of the activity.
  2. Keynotes bring credibility to the activity. These keynotes believe in what Training Minds is doing, and they believe—like me—in the next generation.
  3. Keynotes help bring understanding to the otherwise small-niche idea of “training the mind for action.”

That third reason got me thinking. I have two fantastic keynotes at each of our camps this year, both keynotes that people outside my debate circles would absolutely love to see. Perhaps like you. My Training Minds Campers will get personal connection with these leaders, but I’m doing something different this year.

I have decided to open up the evening to the public. If you’re in the area…

You are cordially invited to join us either

Wednesday, July 24 in Virginia Beach for Andrew Pudewa


Wednesday, July 31 in San Diego for Michael Hyatt.

Both keynote speakers will entertain and inspire you to “train your mind for action.” I’ve already budgeted their arrival, so attendance is a mere $5 to cover the larger room we need. Mind you, people pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to go see these speakers in other arenas.

Want to come? Let me give you some details, especially the reason why I think you shouldn’t miss the opportunity.

East • Virginia Beach, July 24 • Andrew Pudewa

Andrew at a ConferenceAndrew Pudewa is the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and a homeschooling father of seven. He addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills.

If you are an educational enthusiast—especially a home educator—you will absolutely love Andrew’s talk on Wednesday night. He and I have become good friends over the years primarily because of our shared enthusiasm in training young people in the proper skill of—not writing, not speaking, not debating—but thinking. Thousands of educators have benefitted from Andrew’s inspiring vision for young people, and you will, too, next week.

We will be meeting at 7 PM in Robertson Hall at Regent University in Virginia Beach. As an added bonus, we will be giving away door prizes worth over $100. There are only 35 tickets available, so you will want to snatch these up. Join Andrew and me—along with 27 debaters who are attending the camp—for an evening of “training the mind for action.”


West • Point Loma, CA • July 31 • Michael Hyatt

michael-hyatt-speaking1Michael Hyatt is author of the New York Times bestseller Platform…Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Hundreds of thousands of people subscribe to his blog posts, listen to his podcast, and seek him out as he is one of the most sought-after public speakers in the world today. We are most honored to have Mr. Hyatt keynote at our Training Minds Camp at Point Loma Nazarene University at the end of the month.

Seriously, you should go. When it comes to training for competition, Training Minds encourages students to aim beyond the final round at Nationals. Such focus will make competitors aim for a higher purpose and with an eternal perspective that will help make them better people. I bet you can identify. You aspire toward a higher “platform” in your life, so come hear from the expert in platform building.

Michael Hyatt is perfect for the “training minds” message. He will be speaking directly to the students with this profound message: building a platform. This is riveting stuff, the kind of message that people need to hear in today’s age, one that Michael Hyatt has written a bestseller and which professionals pay thousands of dollars to be taught. You will be inspired to academic and professional heights they you may not have thought possible.

We will be meeting at 7 PM in the Crill Performance Arts Center at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. As an added bonus, we will be entertained by the title award winning Original Interpretation speech from 2012, an hilarious piece presented by son, Micah. Tickets are only $5 and there are 200 tickets available. Join Michael and me—along with over 100 debaters who are attending the camp—for an evening of “training the mind for action.”


Keynote speakers have always been a “key” reason to come to debate camp. Camp registration is now closed, but you can still attend the keynote address and be inspired to train for action in your life. See you soon at Training Minds Camp!