Why Compete In Forensics?
Forensics, more commonly known as speech . . . is one of the most rewarding and beneficial educational activities available to students. As you compete in high school forensics, you will find that your skills in areas diverse as researching, writing, critical thinking, presentation, time management, and interpersonal communication will dramatically improve.
Forensics helps students gain valuable skills in four primary areas. First, it helps develop confidence, not only in front of an audience, but in interpersonal communication as well. One student, in summarizing his experience in forensics, said, “It has made me more confident, not only in presenting myself, but in all aspects of my life.” Another student tells how he was painfully shy until joining his school’s speech team, but found that if he could speak in front of a roomful of people, he could just as easily speak to people in one-on-one situations.
Secondly, forensics helps develop academic skills essential to high school and collegiate level work. Not only do speech students develop presentation skills, but they also learn to conduct academic research, think critically through problems, listen analytically to arguments, understand current social and political issues, better appreciate literature, and develop writing skills. Obviously, these skills not only benefit students in academic situations, but also provide forensics competitors with an advantage when they go into the working work. Thus, enhanced professional skills is the third benefit of participation in forensics. The high number of speech and debate students who attain various levels of higher education and enter into professional careers demonstrates that this activity provides benefits for forensics competitors long after they leave school.
The final benefit of participation in forensics is much less serious, but just as important: it is fun. It is a chance for students to shine in an academic environment; a chance to win awards for intellect. Since it is a competitive activity, objectives become clear, progress is easy to measure, and speech students find that they are often pushed to do work beyond what they thought possible. They often begin with the objective of competitive success and find that, in striving for that goal, they have learned much in the process. Also, speech tournaments are a good place to meet people and make friends. Students get to know their teammates intimately through extensive practice sessions, long bus rides, and off-time at tournaments, and also get a rare opportunity to meet various students from other schools in their area.
Copyright 2006 National Forensics League. Used by permission.
Last Modified on September 13, 2016