Speech and Debate (Forensics) Team
Did you know that the speech team at Valley College is one of the best in the country, yet almost all of the students on the team have come out of speech classes and have no prior public speaking experience?
To get more information about the speech team, contact one of the coaches or
stop by the squad room (Bungalow 24).
Coach: Duane Smith (818) 778-5537
Coach: Josh Miller (818) 947-2981
Coach: Eric Cullather (818) 947 2535
Speech Team FAQ’s
Why is speech competition called Forensics?
Forensics is a Greek term and means the study of argumentation.
What are the requirements to join?
There are none. We are open to anyone enrolled at Valley. There will be expectations once you join the team, however.
I have never debated, acted or spoke in public before. Will I do well?
With lots of hard work, anyone can do well on the team.
Will competing take a lot of
It depends on what you want to get out of it, but generally, yes. But it has been our experience that the time becomes worth it, once you start winning trophies.
Where do we compete?
Most tournaments are at local community colleges and universities. We prepare each year for our national tournament which, is held in a different location each year. Past national tournaments have been held in Chicago, San Francisco, Florida, and New Orleans.
Do I have to register for classes to compete?
Yes, you need to be enrolled in Speech 106 and 137. You also must join the Valley College Associated Student Union.
What are the benefits if joining the speech team?
There are many benefits to competition. You will: 1) learn debate, public speaking and, acting skills; 2) build your resume. Employers and universities are impresses by people who have competed in speech; 3) Increase your social scene. Speech is a social event where you have a great team to hang out with. You will also meet talented people from across the country.
But the bottom line is that you will become a better communicator!
I get nervous just thinking about giving speeches. Will I do well?
Yes, if you work with your coaches. Most everyone gets nervous before they speak.
What are the events I can compete in?
There are four categories of events:
Platform Speaking: Also referred to as Public Address events. These speeches are researched and written by the students and should all 8-10 minutes long. There are four platform speeches: Persuasive, Informative Speaking , Speech to entertain a.k.a. After Dinner Speaking, and Communication Analysis or Rhetorical Criticism:
Oral Interpretation Events: Oral interpretation (or interp) is close to, but is not, acting. These events are great for actors, or those who want to be actors. There are five categories of acting events: Prose Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, and Program Oral Interpretation (or POI).
Limited Preparation Events: These events are prepared and delivered within a set amount of time. There are two limited preparation events: Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking.
Debate Events: There are two general categories of debate: policy and parliamentary. In policy debate students debate the same topic all year long and in parliamentary style, the students debate a different topic each rounds of competition.