Public Speaking is Powerful

Public speaking is a critical skill and the only way to get great at it is to practice. Speech and Debate gives you tons of experience speaking in front of teammates, competitors, and judges. You also learn to think on your feet and persuade an audience. It's powerful stuff!

It's Fun!

You will meet a lot of fun, articulate people who like the same things you like, even if you come from different backgrounds or have different political viewpoints or life experiences. Speech and Debate is full of people who are interested in the world and have something to say about it


There is nothing quite like the friendships you make through Speech and Debate. You'll meet people who are smart, funny, and interested in the world around them. They make you better at what you do and you learn what it takes to be part of a winning team.

Engage in Political, Social, and Economic Issues

Speech and Debate provides an opportunity to think about current events at a deeper level. Champion your viewpoint or even argue the other side just for fun! If you like to know what's going on and have something to say, this is the place to do it.

Colleges and Employers Love It

High School Speech and Debate builds critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and civic engagement. College admissions officials and employers are looking for these skills in applicants, because they lead to personal and professional success.

Explore Your Artistic Side

Are you moved by novels or poetry? Speech events allow you to explore your dramatic side, or read a humorous interpretation. If you like theatre arts, this can be a great way to try something dramatic and new.

Meet New People

Not only will you meet new people from different years at Yorktown, at tournaments you'll meet new people from schools all across the DMV and Virginia. And when you win and go to state and nationals, you'll meet more folks there too!

Advocate, Advocate, Advocate

You want to change the world? You'll have to use your voice and take a stand. Speech and Debate gives you the confidence and the skills to tell your story and stand up for others.

Become a Better Writer

Speech and Debate improves your ability to think and write logically, and construct strong arguments in a short amount of time. You'll also hone your ability to concisely identify in writing what's really important and how to emphasize it in the most compelling way.

It Makes You Stronger

In Speech and Debate you always have a bit of the unexpected. How will that judge react? What will my opponent argue? Sometimes you hit it out of the park, and sometimes you don't. Not every round will be your best, but you go on to the next, and develop resilience, persistance and determination.