How Speech and Debate Can Benefit Social, Oral Skills


Mr. Monsey and the Debate Team pose in Las Vegas at the State Tournament on March 17, 2018.

Nate Salkoff, Editor-in-Chief

Speech and Debate, which is known for its extremely competitive style in rhetorical competition, is, unfortunately, a vastly underrated opportunity and skill-building club many students here at Bishop Manogue do not take advantage of. The reason for this is primarily because students are unaware of the advantages and beneficial effects Speech and Debate can have on one’s writing style, oral presentation skills, and argumentative persuasion expertise. I set out to shed light on how helpful participating in this incredible club and community can make for a thorough understanding of persuasive use of language and the study of presenting and conveying information in its most professional and refined form. 

With Mr. Monsey after placing 2nd at a league tournament (courtesy of the yearbook committee).

Mr. Monsey is Bishop Manogue’s Speech and Debate leader. He is always encouraging people to join, especially if they are willing to put in the time and effort in order to take their understanding of writing and oral presentation skills to the next level. “Students who participate in speech and debate deepen their abilities to see issues from various perspectives, comprehensively research a topic, write thoughtful and thorough persuasive appeals, speak eloquently from an informed point of view, and respond in the moment to questions and critiques of their position,” Monsey says. “Everyone should do speech and debate!”

As juniors, posing with Mr. Monsey after qualifying for Nationals for the 3rd time 9courtesy of the yearbook committee).

But what exactly is the outward purpose of Speech and Debate? Obviously, involved participation in this club improves one’s skills in rhetoric, but how would a club like this have an impact on competitors in the real world? “The objective of speech and debate is to help students develop an array of skills that will prepare them for the future employment marketplace through a variety of competitive events,” Monsey says. “These skills include research, writing, argumentation, presentational and dramatic speaking, topic analysis, extemporaneous speaking, teamwork, and perseverance.” Not only does Speech and Debate improve understanding of persuasive and argumentative speaking, but it builds valuable skills for human-to-human interaction in the workforce. Many occupied adults do not actually have well-developed social or interactive skills, and the existence or lack of communicative comfortability has the potential to make or break business deals, form partnerships, or increase crucial revenue in a company. 

Mr. Monsey and the Debate Team pose in Las Vegas at the State Tournament on March 17, 2018 (photo courtesy of the yearbook committee).

Because skills involved with face-to-face interaction are so valuable in the world of work, clubs like Speech and Debate have the potential to be very beneficial. If you are interested in becoming more comfortable in social environments, face-to-face interaction, or speaking in a presentative and persuasive form, feel free to contact Mr. Monsey at or any of the group members to join!