Spike Series: Speech, Debate, and Model UN

Admissions Expert Arham gives tips on how to leverage your speech, debate, and Model UN experience on your college applications.

Date 10/11/2020
Duration 55:30

Webinar Transcription

2020-10-11 Spike Series: Speech, Debate, and Model UN

[00:00:00] Hi everyone. So this is going to be the presentation on Speech, Debate, and Model UN. My names is Han before we really get into things. Just to quick note, to start off, you can download the slides first night’s webinar in the handouts tab or through the link that will be put in there. So with that being said, we’ll get into it on starting with a little bit about me on let’s go and welcome to the bull’s eye webinar and speech debate and model.

When you run, this is going to be your first series to orient everyone with webinars, timing, and different shots. Basically how this is going to work. Cause I’m going to start off with the presentation, that answer your questions in the live Q Ray and then the sidebar and the public shot. You can download our slides and the handouts tab, and you can start by submitting [00:01:00] questions in the Q and a.

So with that being said a little bit about my background and debate on I graduated pretty recently. I was in the class of 2020. I did speech and debate for all four years of high school and a little bit at middle school as well. So as an individual, I would compete in like conduct with debate and extemporaneous speaking.

My senior year, I was one of the 12 people on re recruited to be on the us team. So I got to travel the world, representing us, the international tournaments. And I guess more on the volunteer, very excited things on. I created a debate programs and integrated diamond to the local curriculum of elementary schools.

And the other big project that I did was starting as a beta program over in Pakistan, which happens to be my parents’ home nation. So with that being said, let’s get a little bit into the specifics about what different debate events look like. Starting with three [00:02:00] overarching categories. So we have speech debate and model UN and Bridget at MUN.

I’ll walk you through a few of the events in all of these along with their general characteristics. So speech tends to be the most versatile with the most different sub events. It’s extremely well-developed and its competitive structure with that means that there’s a lot of tournaments.

There’s very clear criteria for how it’s judged and there’s almost an event that suits everyone here. And the final thing is there’s very low barriers to entry that’s because you don’t need mass amounts of prep to prepare a speech you don’t need good opponents to practice the Johns, to really get into the scene.

A lot of what makes a good speaker is pretty intuitive. So I think for someone that’s just looking to start off speech is never a bad place to get started on regarding specific risk speech events and the company. How did you see an, a view, not it states, which is what I’m most familiar with.

I think that there were a few broad categories. There were, there was original oratory, which is [00:03:00] incredibly popular. It’s a 10 minute speech on basically any topic of your choice. That’s just intended to give a social message. There’s interp or interpretation, which is more akin with acting a lot of people who are interested in theater and of doing it, it’s where you interpret a piece where that’s like either a movie or a book or something and add different characteristics to it.

So for example, there’s traumatic interpretation, that’s humorous interpretation, so on and so forth. And finally there’s more spontaneous events, which are the events that I did in high school. So the two here are impromptu where you have two minutes to create a five minutes speech about any subject that you can be given an extemporaneous speaking, where you have 30 minutes to craft a well cited seven minute speech on global affairs.

So that’s a little bit about speech events. Let’s get into debate events so much about speech. It prioritizes them with the same skills being persuasive, so on and so forth, except in a more [00:04:00] one-on-one format. And as a result of that, it’s very competitive event. It’s seen as less persuasion based more about just beating back your opponent’s arguments.

So a little bit more about the specific on versions of debate. There’s a. Lincoln Douglas debate, which is again, what I did. It’s a one-on-one format that involves value-based debate or ethics-based debate. For example, one of the topics my sophomore year was the United States or this house or resolved the United States should stop carrying out targeted killings and analyze the moral consequences of that.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have public forum, which is very oriented to verts backs, right? Concrete statistics and policy. That’s also a little bit shorter and more rapid pace of events. So it actually resembles something like the presidential debates a little bit more speech times are less.

Consequently, you have to make your arguments very memorable and quick. And finally, there’s an event called policy, which is really in-depth [00:05:00] research and involves much longer. Speech times. Policy rounds are down to go over two hours and That’s for people who are really in dogmas, luxury side of debating.

They work on the same topic all year round and really delve deep into what makes that topic interesting or intellectually engaging. And finally we have model UN this is the most applied of all the on speech and debate events. It’s perfect for those who are interested in international relations there’s conferences that aren’t really happening now because of COVID, but they are super fun to attend.

With that being said, I just wanted to get a feel for the audience. Are you guys involved in speech debate or model UN you can select multiple if you participate in more than. And if you’re not currently involved in any, but interest in learning more, go for it and select the one that you’re most interested in.

So we’ll let those responses trickle in.[00:06:00]


Alright. And it looks like most people have responded. So a pretty even split between speech and debate, a few lost people in model and you run and some people and other events. Yeah, I know it, there’s definitely the other stations, debate events. I did world schools my senior year, which was how we got into team USA.

I’d be very interested, if you guys wanted to drop what those other things were in the shot in case I have any specific information about them or can help you out with them, but yeah, it’s super interesting. So on you take care of that. Let’s get into [00:07:00] what makes speech and debate so valuable on.

And I think that these are, there’s a few different assets that a house, both. And developing your own skillset and in playing the college application your game. So first of all, and most intuitively it helps you develop competence and better your own argumentation skills. I think that this really does end up helping you to go longterm just because being able to logically think through arguments is so beneficial for such a wide variety of careers.

For example I’m interested in like management consulting. I’m in a few different consulting clubs and something that management consultants are really valued for doing is breaking a topic down into very logical areas and being able to persuade that to clients. And I think that the skills from debate really cleanly transfer over there.

I think it also shows admission officers specifically that you’re confident and outspoken. And just the fact that you’ve participated in debate can help characterize you as a person. Third, it can connect you with a lot of other students. Some of my closest [00:08:00] friends were those people that I met through speech and debate, and it’s really surreal because we all ended up, most of us ended up going to the same, like east coast school.

Most of us are involved in similar political publications or consulting clubs are interested in finance. So the alumni network is really helpful. And finally it just meshes well with a lot of other extracurriculars, something you want to consider as you’re starting to develop your college application, narrative is.

And what do I want to show to admission officers? What skills do I have? What story do I have to tell? And because debate sponsors such a wide variety of skills, I think that it’s usable and integratable into almost anything. Okay. So next up, let’s get a little bit into getting started with these. So all three of these extracurriculars have high barriers to entry, not in the way that like they’re expensive to perform or anything.

But in the way [00:09:00] that the easiest way to get into that is if your high school already has somewhat of an established program. And I know that for every high school, it doesn’t exist. And some high schools that do happen to establish program only have them in, for example, speech events or debate events.

My high school was very good at speech and debate. We were top 10 in the nation consistently, but we had absolutely no model. So you might have to pick and choose if you want to enter these events independently, but your high school doesn’t sponsor anything. I think debate is the easiest to enter that way, just because there’s very developed frameworks for entering independently tournaments.

It’s pretty easy to start researching stuff. There’s a lot of practice rounds that are available online and the same goes for each I tried to get into modeling, but what really held me back was that if you want to purchase the it from a high school, you need an advisor. That’s going to be a little bit dedicated to it.

And my school just didn’t have advisors that are [00:10:00] willing to be dedicated to it. So that’s one, the one potential roadblock that you can run into, but if you have more specific questions about that, feel free to let me know later, let’s get into a little bit of how you start building up your reputation, your resume, et cetera.

So I think the easiest way to start off is pretty intuitively by going to local tournaments getting a feel for what events I want to, I recommend, especially if you’re an underclassman, like a freshmen or sophomore trying a variety of things. Congressional debate is a great place to start on. It’s somewhat of a blend between both speech and debate.

That’s focused more on persuasion and less argumentation, but it develops a really great skill set and also people in Congress end up going to phenomenal colleges on. I also think that after you’re comfortable with what debated format do you want to pursue? You’ve gone to a few local tournaments, perhaps you’re up.

Some results is signing up for larger invitationals. I know that this might not be easy [00:11:00] normally, but given that we’re in COVID and a lot of these tournaments are online, I didn’t use it become pretty accepted possible. And I think the ultimate intention that you want to start on doing is pursuing regional state or national awards, just because we are a college consulting program, the easiest way to show that you were involved in debate more than saying I did debate is I did debate here in my trip.

Next, let’s go into a little bit of, on some of the things that you can do when you’re developing this as an extracurricular. Here I can really talk to my own experiences in speech and debate. There’s three tournaments that are the most accredited in speech and debate for, from the perspective of college admissions officers.

These are the tournament of champions abbreviated the TOC anesthesia nationals or the national speech and debate association nationals. And I’m the smallest of the [00:12:00] three, but something that people still like to put in their resumes is the national Catholic forensics. The actual debating has nothing to do with the religious affiliation.

It just happens to be a relatively well established program, especially in, I think the Midwest. So a little bit to my own experiences and how you qualify for GS for the tournament of champions, you need some things called bids to get in there. You got bids by doing well at big tournaments or invitationals.

So in general, if you reach a certain professional in a tournament, for example, the semifinals around the finals round, top three, et cetera you got what’s called. Which just means that you’ve done well at a certain tournament. And when you aggregate those data, you can get to the tournament of champions.

I think to the best of my understanding, you’d only need two, both in speech and yeah. And debate. But there are some people who have been known to accumulate like 10 or 15 of them and just like [00:13:00] for the cloud. And it still nationals is a little bit different. To qualify for that there’s regional qualifying tournaments that are wide variety of events.

You want to contract, contact your local district. If you’re interested in these often through your high school and to the best of my understanding NCFL functions and other invitational, you do need a score banner to get into these. But again, I think coaches can sign you up independently if you really want it.

So those are like the national level titles. If you get to those. So you can say I’ve made a splash in this vision a bit. This can definitely stand out in my application. If those aren’t accessible to you, I think the next best thing is to go for top three placements at state or national invitationals.

For me, I was the champion of Stanford. I got second in California state, which is a pretty big competitive state. And I was supposed to about the calendar rotational and stuff. So oftentimes these invitationals [00:14:00] are tied to big universities. They already have a name about them and consequently, they have some cloud associated with them on.

So that’s some, that’s another way to develop that kind of spike. And I guess in case you guys were curious of my metrics were on these, on my common app, I had to do it, but when you’re putting three debate accomplishments, I didn’t want to put more than that. I put second at state, I put ninth at nationals and then I had one international award she’ll get into with this third category of miscellaneous things to get involved in.

So I understand that not everyone’s passion is competing, but they might not have the time to ardently pursue stuff. There’s other avenues to make yourself successful and debate it. One of the ones that I highly recommend that I’m so grateful that I got onto was team USA. On it is very competitive there’s to the best of my knowledge, about 300 applicants for it every single year around eight of which ended up making the team.

So [00:15:00] it’s a pretty low acceptance rate, but they both look for your competitive achievement and how you’ve given back to the community. They want to make sure that people that are representing the country are like of good character and dedicated and I can’t speak to the on college placement rate of the COC state nationals or the NCFL, but I can tell you that team USA has over 50, so almost 60 or 70% of our class would get into Ivy leagues every year.

And literally everyone ended up at a top 20 college. It was a golden ticket to to like solid schools. The other service programs are honestly a student of the year and the national exemplary student service award. For these, you have to be nominated by coaches and the national speech and debate association, but if you’re really engaging volunteer work and you happen to be a competitor in debate, these are ways to get that volunteering recognized, even if you don’t want to compete that ardently.

So feel free to keep those in mind. And once again all these slides are going to be [00:16:00] accessible in the handouts tab. Then I want to talk a little bit about what being successful in model UN looks like there’s a variety of different tournaments or invitationals. They call them conferences. Some notable ones include that hosted by Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia.

And then I think the championship ones, the north American invitational model, United nations conference. And I believe qualifying for that takes a similar structure. To the TOC at these tournaments throughout these conferences, you’re going to be going for best delegate. And I don’t know the competitive process or mechanisms to, I know that you’re elected to represent nations.

Research is very important. Being persuasive is important and being memorable is important. I do know that it’s a little bit more formal and a little bit more I just, the word is.

There’s a set template to follow if you want to be successful in these types of events. Feel free to look or message me for additional [00:17:00] information on that. If you’re interested.

So let’s get into the part that I’m sure everyone is waiting for, which is how you’re going to portray these extracurriculars in your college assets. So these are all incredibly common. I feel like everyone has tried speech debate or model United nations at some point in time. It’s the most important to them.

That I can give you when developing these is be cliche. So essays about how these activities helped you come out of your shell. There are other narratives that are very common, can be powerful. Don’t get me wrong. They’ve gotten many of my friends into solid schools, but they’re also something that you can expect admission officers to hear relatively often.

And so I think that it’s a little bit more valuable to go and maybe find out niche ways to impact out these assets. There’s two different structures for this one that I’ve seen very successful for people who like did nothing, but debate is like they’re structured every single essay about a different [00:18:00] skill that speech and debate or related extracurriculars help them obtain on.

And there’s another one, which I personally used where my essays were a little bit more generic, but I throw in an anecdote about speech and debate just to make sure that admissions officers knew that I was in it for more than just the achievements I was in it because I genuinely enjoyed the activity and I enjoyed the conversations that ensued about it.

I’ll give you an example of by calming up by just my entire common operative all through on like dinnertime conversations with my family growing up. And the lessons that I got from those and how that perspectives about arguments and disputes evolved. And I literally, I mentioned speech and debate for the first 400 words of it.

It was just a background of me. I wanted to emphasize my personality. And then I just threw in one line about like international tournaments. I like to engage others in conversation about a whole motive subjects. And then I built [00:19:00] off in those subjects and I ended up doing a decently successful strategy.

I got into a lot of schools that seem to enjoy debaters or accept a lot of debaters. I was accepted into U Chicago Yukon Berkeley LA, which has stopped a lot of debate kids, but because of the structure, I was also accepted to schools where Tibet isn’t as prominent. So I got a full ride to USC.

I got into Johns Hopkins, I got into Cornell. So I think that structure is a little bit more versatile.

Next, let’s talk about how you want to portray these as achievements. Here. I think that the most important advice that I have for you is that you only have five slots and you want to use them wisely on. So the first slot is going to be for the activity or the achievement that you consider most important.

For me, that was my international awards, the number of CV USA. And after that, when they’re asking for [00:20:00] descriptions of These activities in your activity section where you have 10 slots, make sure that you use those spots wisely, what that looks like, describing your leadership experiences.

In this, for example, I was a VP at, by schools club relevant skills that you’ve obtained from it and quantifiable numbers of how your team is done. So the way that I described that was my team happened to be ranked fourth in the state of California and ninth nation. When I resigned and leadership position.

So the one thing you don’t want to do is you don’t want to be like, I participated in debate. This is where we go and debate people with different perspectives on motions. Admissions officers know that they want to know what you took out at the activity, not with the activity. Yes.

Next up. Let’s talk a little bit about what’s fusion debate, look like in interviews. And so here are the best story that or the best advice that I can give you is [00:21:00] how the stories from tournament’s ready to go. Just because they’re such fun. Icebreakers and admissions officers would much rather have you start off with like fun stories about your past competitive experiences and attitudes.

So my goats here, my senior year I was interviewing with, I would always walk into like coffee shops, where most of my interviews were held. And oftentimes I would like have already ordered coffee or someone would ask me to get coffee. And I made a point to like always go for a dark roast. And they would always, without a doubt, I’d be like, why?

And I’d be like, oh yeah, I’m jet lagged from traveling to wherever. And it’d be like, oh yeah. Why aren’t you traveling? And that was a good segue into what I was doing as a member of team USA. And so my experiences, I would do this even when I wasn’t jet lagged and I hadn’t traveled recently. So I ended up, it ended up working pretty well as a strategy I don’t know on, but if you don’t travel.

There’s [00:22:00] still so many other compelling stories go from for debate. You can talk about particularly interesting rounds that you competed in. You can have stories about maybe when you lost and what you took from that experience. I think that the one narrative to avoid that a lot of people fall into is I worked really hard at this extracurricular and ended up winning or.

I lost. And like I learned valuable lessons from loss, just because those tend to be narratives that admissions officers hear a lot. And I think you can be a little bit more unique with what you talk about in these essays. I also think that the last piece of advice I’m going to give you on this note is how transitions prepared.

I think that debate was a great place for me to start in my interviews because I’d be like, yeah, I debated this topic. It was very engaging. And consequently, I participated in this research afterwards and we would just talk through my whole resume, but it was never forced. They would never be asking me questions about it.

I think that’s something worth [00:23:00] considering.

Next step let’s talk about what it looks like to further develop these extracurriculars beyond just saying I competed in debate and I was good at it. So I’ll I think the easiest way to do this is threefold or it links into three different areas. The first of these is like on the more academic side of like actual political or public policy research.

For me with this manifested as, for, as I was an intern for something called the world affairs council, where we would go interview big time, like diplomats and stuff, write articles about international affairs. So yeah, that was a little bit of my experience and how I developed that. And it showed that I was passionate, not only about debating winning, but also about the actual academics behind the stuff that I was debating and winning on.

The second is political involvement. I was never too passionate about politics to this day. I am very honestly [00:24:00] apathetic. Like I don’t care about campaigning or whatever, so I focused more on like again, the academic side of things. I was a congressional intern. I like research policy. I would make recommendations on it.

I was very scared to even identify the politician as a Democrat or Republican, just because I think the politics are very partisan and I could alienate admissions officers who have other political affiliation before they even read the rest of my application. So I didn’t want to run that risk.

But with that being said, a lot of my friends who were in there. We’re huge activists very woke the types of people who like run activism, Twitter pages. They also got into Ivy league schools and stuff. Just do what you’re comfortable with is what else tell you? And the third is volunteer work.

This is gradually becoming a cliche. Some of my friends like to joke that there so many debate programs in different countries, that debate is just a part of international curriculum. Now. [00:25:00] But with that being said, I think going teaching debate can still be a valuable experience, especially if you don’t have much other volunteer work.

I think that your starting unique program is the best way to go with this direction. So what that looks like is for example, I started programs in Pakistan, which didn’t have access to the beta program. Before or instead of going and just like tutoring elementary school kids in debate, I like integrated it into school curriculum and I happened to be at a district board and be in a very unique position to do that.

So this might not be an opportunity accessible to everyone, but it showed that I was doing more than just being like, oh, I debate. And I teach people. It showed that I was interested in the education policy, what younger students could out of it, the international impact that I could have. That’s tough.

Finally. As part of our last two slides, we’re going to go over how I think you can be very successful in [00:26:00] any debate, speech or model you unraveled. I firmly believe that the vast majority of students, especially high school students are just very boring to listen to when they’re presenting speeches.

And I think that the only way to make sure that you can only win is to make sure that judges are engaged and give them proactive reasons to be listening. So make it such that even if they didn’t have to listen to you, they would want to listen to your speech just because it was interesting. I think the easiest way to do that is to tell a story with each round.

One thing that we were instructed to do. My senior year, Mr. Go identify key stakeholders. For example, low income population relations, first-generation college students, et cetera, et cetera. And just talk about how the motions or resolutions or whatever impacted actual people instead of just throwing out statistics.

I think. Personally, my we’re making sure people stay engaged. And then I wanted to tell you [00:27:00] guys to avoid a few classic pitfalls. These include speaking too fast being timid or hesitant debate isn’t event for the confident and not being courteous. If you act like a douchebag, your ranks, aren’t going to be very high.

And finally let’s talk about. COVID has changed the overall debate it space.

So I think those tournaments have online because of cost. Majority of the tournament’s you guys are going to be caring about, which are invitational and national tournaments are still all online. This is a double-edged sword. So because it’s all online, you can’t really have any clever stories about events or whatever, ready to go for your interviewers.

And I acknowledge that it’s far less fun than it could be however, or a lot less people are competing now that it’s online. So I [00:28:00] think that there’s a unique opportunity right now. To go stock up your resume with debate accomplishments, just because a lot of people left the debate space because they didn’t want to compete without, in an era of COVID it’s pretty depressing and giving speeches from your laptop and your room.

So if you are a junior, who’s looking to ramp up your achievement and you’ve participated in D. Before, if you really want to hone in on it now, I think you could very easily emerge with some very solid achievements ready to go. I think the additional benefit is entry costs are very low.

Usually you have to travel to these invitationals or big Dostal tournaments and register for them and stuff. Now that they’re all online registration should be in the double digit stocks. And if you want to test out new events or use this opportunity to go to tournaments, do normally geographic, we wouldn’t be able to access.

I more than encouraged you to go for it. So with that being said, that’s the [00:29:00] end of the prepared part of this presentation. I hope that you found this information helpful. And once again, remember that you can download the slides and the handouts, Todd, or click the link in the public shot. So moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through the questions that you submitted in the Q and a tab, I’ll paste them into the public chat, and then I’ll read them aloud before I end.

As a heads-up if you’re humanize Hobbs and let do submit questions, just double-check that you join the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page.

All right. Let’s get into it.

We have, how essentially, can you do a major in speech and debate like political sciences? I don’t entirely understand this question, but I think I know what you’re trying to get at what majors relate to speech and [00:30:00] debate. Political science is a great one. A lot of people are pre law. A lot of people are international relations and a lot of people are economics.

I ended up going into business and I want to go into finance and private equity. And so that’s also an option. Don’t feel constrained by speech. Let’s see.

Yeah. Question about how do you get better at speech and debate into well in competitions on great question. I think a lot of it is just about becoming confident with yourself. Developing narratives, being comfortable with telling stories and being confident and engaging. And I think everyone does speech and debate a little bit differently.

I think if you look at some of the most persuasive politicians or whatever, you’re not define one time. But succeeded. Clinton Reagan all spoke very differently and they were all considered uniquely effective [00:31:00] communicators. So really develop what works for you. Okay.

One quick question about ranks and how you write these ranks in speech and debate competitions in your college. Op just rank your five spots. Common up about the most impressive issues movements. Put the most impressive ones on top. We’ve done pretty intuitive on if it’s a big tournament on say that it was like national or whatever, there’s going to be a spot in the comment on for you to do that.

And yeah, you should be good to go.

Then we have a pretty good question for a while when I was doing these events, if we enjoy station today, but do better in debate. Should we do both on, does it get stressful in high school? Yes, I would lie to you guys. It does sometimes get stressful. There are by definition, high pressure buttons on, I [00:32:00] think that.

If you’re most comfortable with debate and you are Dunning results in debate, feel free to stick with that. However, if you are, you were sitting events, you were developing your skills and you’re still trying to find out what works. I would recommend doing a variety of events. And until you find something that really clicks, just because it’s difficult to do say Lincoln Douglas debate for four years exclusively, and just prioritize that and get really good at that.

Do you run the risk of maybe the fact that you would have been better at policy, maybe the fact that you would have been better at PF or maybe worst case scenario. If you tried something like stop and speaking got better at presenting stuff off the top of your head and decided to go back to Lincoln Douglas debate, those skills would benefit your Lincoln-Douglas career.

So I definitely do recommend on being versatile.[00:33:00]

So we have how did you get selected to USA events? You I got ninth and nationals. If you got top 14 senior putting in the pool for a legibility. I submitted a bunch of essays. I got moved on to the next round on and I submitted two videos and world school styles. They happen to be pretty good.

I got selected to go around three and four round four was an interview with the board of the team. And they just hop into click with my personality. I’m not going to lie with you guys. I didn’t have the most stopped competitive background. I like beat out national finalists and stuff for those spots.

Just because they thought that I was a better fit for this team. And if you want more questions about team USA or world schools, feel free to message me afterwards.

I’ll drop my email at the end of this presentation.[00:34:00]

So in the comment section, if I’m referring to my experiences in a specific interpreter, do I need to specify that it was part of it as part of speech and debate or will admissions officers know what it is based on the name of the event? Good question. I think that It is valuable to say that it was a speech and debate event, which just because you can never be too sure.

And I do believe that you have enough characters to make that distinction. I don’t think everyone knows what interpretation is just because it’s one of the more obscure speech and debate events. Whereas everyone knows that Lincoln Douglas for public forum isn’t whatever. So yeah, I would recommend explaining that.

And then maybe if you can drop a line in your essays or something about what the event is or what. I think then that would be helpful.[00:35:00]

Then we have a question here,

all of these skills. Do you focus on doing other things then? Other issues like instruments or sports. This is a good question. I think as a general note, you’re never want to come across as being one dimensional, which means only having developed one extracurricular activity or one field. Therefore, even if you were absolutely sure that you want to go into political science, I recommend keeping these some other unique stuff alive just to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

Speaking of. A [00:36:00] little bit to my own experience doing college applications. Yes. I had the politics side down. Yes. I had the debate side done, but I also mentioned that I was interested in like miscellaneous stuff. Like I talked about. I enjoy play pickup basketball a lot. So that was a staple.

And I asked those on, in my interviews. I would often talk about wanting to get involved with student government and those types of positions, et cetera, et cetera.

Next up, we have a question. I was part of model. You run for one to two years and I don’t have any awards from it. Is that okay? Should I still put on the application for extracurriculars on just both?

Again, do you want to list extracurriculars are important and you only have 10 spaces. So what that means is for stuff that you are worded in or stuff that [00:37:00] you think you have more unique experiences in, I would recommend putting that first on. The other thing that I would recommend is if you really don’t have any achievements start developing other spikes, I just think that.

Useful. And the last thing that I want to say on this note is schools like Harvard don’t even consider the full 10 extra crew is that you list. They usually only consider the first like four or five. So make sure that when you pack the list at the top, do it with stuff that you are passionate about, that you believe accurately represents yourself and not just like conventionally good extracurriculars, like speech and debate or modeling.

Correct. So in one state, the storytelling categories can only go as far as state, while other categories can go to nationals, but want to show [00:38:00] more of my skills, what national competitions for speech are available. Great question on, so two things here. First, I tend to notice that those events that are stay exclusive, for example, storytelling and impromptu are a little bit less competitive.

So I think if you’re wanting to go get on. State level achievements, and then develop other spikes. That’s a perfectly acceptable thing to do. For example, one of my best friends final the state and prompt her freshman year did nothing else. And I didn’t have getting into brown so on. Yeah. There’s definitely ways to do stuff, even if it’s on the state level.

And then as for, if you really want to compete at nationals, I believe for storytelling, interpretation events are the most similar. And I think that there’s also a constellation event at nationals for storytelling, which is basically if you drop a main event that you qualified in and intro something, then you can go enter in storytelling and compete there.

And another one of my [00:39:00] good friends who also goes to Putin on did this thing every year, where she qualified an extent would drop and then do extemporaneous commentary and then got second at nationals, two years in a row. That one. So that’s another strategy to consider. So we’re partway through the Q and a and as a quick break, I wanted to let you know about Bullseye.

So you have a bunch of free resources at Bullseye that can help you with your college applications, including free webinars like this one, as they got, as in our blog pages and our website featuring different colleges and many more. So here’s our October webinars schedule.

With that being said, let’s jump back into questions and answers. Let me drop the link for some more specific calendars on what exactly we’re offering.


Okay. Interesting question here. What is the best way when issued scholarship conversations to get college debate on coaches? So to the best of my understanding, if you do well at big invitationals or not, There are certain colleges. I, with two prominent ones are like Trinity and Western Kentucky that offer full rides and stuff for qualified on people.

They do tend to have pretty good debate teams but in general, recruiting for debate and scholarships for debate have gone down. And the reason for that is like frankly, debate. Isn’t a spectator sport. You can crowd out football stadiums to watch football, right? You can come like everyone enjoys watching the NCA with basketball.

No one enjoys watching competitive debate in the [00:41:00] recreational time. So I think especially for a lot of upper level schools they might be a little bit difficult to get recruited on the debate team, especially since they’re student run organizations on. But without being cited, you can always try.

If you meet people, you can always interact with them, talk with them, et cetera. I guess if you have more specific questions, message me afterwards. What I will say is that on most top 20 schools, So I know all of the IVs as a policy and MIT and Stanford don’t give scholarships, even on the basis of like athletic performance or anything, they’ll adjust you for your financial aid.

But if you have the capacity to pay full tuition, you will be paying full tuition. Even if you, I can kick a ball, harder, can debate hard. I don’t want to like, raise your hopes too much in that regard.[00:42:00]

And our next question in speech and debate, how do we portray our personality and essays? So good question. I think that a lot of your personality ends up being a very individual choice anyway. And so the way that you want to integrate it, Into it is by talking about like narratives that you might’ve run into a debate tournament stories from there that illustrate the kind of characteristics that you want other people to know about you.

And so I’ll talk to you a little bit about my comment on speaking to one of my friends, Commins up common ops. He goes to Columbia. He talked about the practice of argument generation. And just like how that was a rewarding experience for him as a person to think logically through life and how those skills went over to other areas.

So there’s more than one right way to do it.[00:43:00]

Then we have a question. How did you get good at debate? Did you spend hours on daily prepping for competitions? And did you go to a lot. Really good questions on honestly, no on, I was always fairly extroverted, fairly good at talking on today was actually my alternatives to competitive math. I used to do a lot of AMC Amy stuff.

And my freshman year I went to Amy. I got like a two on the test for those of you guys who know what it is. And I realized that I’d hit a wall. I was never going to get to like the 10, the score required to make my way to the USA. And so I realized that I was very naturally extroverted debate was a good alternative.

So I started doing that. My freshman and sophomore years. Yes, I did compete a lot. I think that was one of the reasons that I got on relatively skilled, pretty well. But my biggest on [00:44:00] asset my junior year was being selective with the competitions that I went to. I stopped going to local tournaments because I recognized I wasn’t ever going to put them in my college apps.

I stopped registering in so many events at different invitationals, just because I recognize there was burning myself out. And I would rather target on one event that I knew I could win on. And. I basically really oriented myself for college work products. Doing volunteer work that was unique and meaningful and related to this debate, going to only invitationals that would get me on college, like tie rules that colleges would care about trying to get onto sheet USA, stuff like that.

Okay. Question about awards. I don’t have many academic awards, but I have sports awards that okay. To put these in the award section or do colleges prefer academic awards? [00:45:00] None of my awards in the academic awards section, except for one of them were actually academic. So I think if it showcases your skillset and you’re particularly proud of that go for it.

I think other places to discuss this are the category of your activities, where you can describe if it was a team sport, how your team was ranked. So yeah, you have many options.


So you have a question about the mechanisms of points, very points. Every time you go to a competition, do they track your rounds? And decide your ranks accordingly or how does it work? Sure. So I guess we’ll talk a little bit about how competitions work. You usually have a set of prelims, both in speech and debate where you get ranks or you got approval and record based in your bidding, the losses.

If it’s high enough, you make it to out rounds on where you start to get ranked. And then every round has progressively less and less people if you lose, or if you rank odd [00:46:00] the inner round, that’s when you get cut, you just keep on doing.

No doubt.


Volunteer experience, specific reading or fuchsia. Yeah. I created a nonprofit on it. Started off with just me Skyping kids. And then after I became a member of team USA. The national speech and debate association. I said, Hey, I really want this country to participate and like debate tournaments on, could we make this happen?

And I used $10,000 worth of funds have been allocated for scholarships to fly these students over and help them compete. It started off with just volunteer work, but I did end up managing a decent amounts of money and networking with a lot of [00:47:00] other groups that were interested in getting more people it’s debate in college ops since you how.

Since that you only add speech and debate and one

fit in to my top extracurricular, it was team USA just because that was the most unique thing in my application. And then I talked about being vice-president of my school team. Like how did the program? And Hudson son is volunteer work and all the paperwork, because I felt that made it more unique. My top five activities were like 10 USA on.

Being a legislative intern, the work that I’ve done in Pakistan. My work as a policy intern and the world affairs council and that my work is a member of the school board and on six places I work on in like my local school. So yeah.

Yeah. And that is all the questions [00:48:00] that we seem to have. What I’m going to do is draw my email address in case you guys want to contact me afterwards, I’ll ask more specific questions and you have some more.

When describing my DCS in the activity section where I talk about what I learned from it or what I didn’t easy since there’s only one 50 character count. I don’t think I could describe both. I think you want to talk about more of what you did, but framed in a way. Very quality viable. So if you’re talking about debate, you wouldn’t want to say I did debate.

It looks like this. This is what the event is like. You’re going to say I did this intubate. I was like vice versa. My team, I help coordinate practices, managed finance, et cetera, et cetera on. And yeah. Say the actual competitive achievements for the award suction and save like the lessons learned from it for your essays.[00:49:00]

Any good speech and debate, internship recommendations. You don’t really intern in speech and debate as it because like it’s a competitive event on. But I think that I can give you some internships that kind of relate to speech and debate, in the fields that you might be interested in my sophomore year, I was a district intern for a local legislator didn’t even end up going to my common up, but it was a stepping stone to job legislative internship for a Congressman, which is a pretty coveted position even in college.

So that was cool. Working sometimes like law firms, if people there will be willing to accept people on intubate backgrounds. One of my friends, an internship at the district attorney on private law firms as well, probably going to be willing to accept you if you know someone there what else non-profits are often willing to accept internships.

They often want skilled communicators. Are people [00:50:00] willing to do that? We’re done. It’s all off the top of my head. If you integrate speech and debate with another extracurricular. So for example, if you’re good at computer science, or if you’re good at like financial model playing that opens up a lot of opportunities on this isn’t necessarily accessible in high school, but in college, the very first thing that I did was.

Go and start interning in a venture capital fund just because I was sick of today. It’s like the humanities on, I really wanted to go into a field that would make money. So yeah. That’s the gist of it.

Was your school passionate about speech and debate or did I establish it. Good question. My school was very well established in speech and debate already. We’ve consistently been ranked top 10 in the nation, top five in California. So I was very lucky in that regard. In my school, there’s this thing where most of the successful students end up being like [00:51:00] going through debate at one point in their lives on, I just happened to go through it and enjoy it.

And it ended up becoming one of my spikes for college. Oh,

And I do believe that is the last question. Oh yeah. Someone private messaged me. If you’re competing through voice tournaments online, do you still get bids? The answer is yes. The bid process versus the same as always. With that being said on my emails shot. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me afterwards.

And then that’s the end of our session. I had a really great time telling you about you run the speech and debate and answering the questions. I hope this webinar was helpful to you, that you’ve learned more about how these activities help your application. If I was in debt to your crush, [00:52:00] send out a feedback form later this evening, where you can add additional.

So we’re next. Webinar’s going to be in two days on Tuesday from eight to nine Eastern. This is the second inner spikes series and it’s about nonprofits and volunteering. So thank you so much for coming out tonight and I hope you all stay safe and take care.