Speech and Debate



The Mesquite Forensics program has three primary goals which direct its operation.  The first goal of the program is educational.  The program maintains medium entry requirements while striving for academic excellence to attract students who can benefit from a speech and debate education, regardless of their experience, who can make the time commitment demanded by a heavy competitive schedule. 

The program attempts to offer these services to students whose high school educations would be enhanced by communication experience. 

The second goal of the program attempts to provide the best available competition to the greatest number of students.  This accomplished by competing in local, state and national tournaments.  We are a National Honor Society based on competition.

The final goal is to provide and maintain a strong, ethical balance of morals and values through competition and team unity. This is what drives our team.

It is wise to sign up for the weighted class during 7th hour. Students who take the class have five hours a week to work on cases and events for weekend competitions.


ENG507 is our WEIGHTED HONORS ENGLISH CLASS 7th hour. Students can take it every year.  Join Today!




Competing on Speech and Debate Team will help students develop a sense of poise and confidence when speaking in front of an audience.  Speech and Debate events improve a student’s skills in research, analysis, critical reading, thinking and writing, organization, analysis and interpretation of literature.


Because of the skills mentioned above, joining the Speech and Debate Team might be one of the most important decisions a student can make as a high school student.  In addition to the personal gains, this activity is regarded highly by college admission boards and future employers.  We can’t say that you won’t enjoy a successful future if you are not a member of the Speech and Debate Team, but we can say that it will help.


We are a Varsity Sport and a National Honor Society


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Meeting Locations:




Mandatory Platform Event Practice every Monday after school

Mandatory Debate Event Practice every Tuesday after school

Mandatory Team Meetings every Thursday after school

Mandatory Interp. Practice every Thursday after meeting

Individual/Duo Coaching any time of your choosing after school-weekly just sign up on tlweav.youcanbook.me


We ask that every member practice at school for at least two hours a week. You can come in and work with your event group and then make an appointment with the coach for a very intense 30 minutes of practice.


Back ground of a chalk board with Speech and Debate written on it

Specific Info

Description of Events


Platform Events (Speech)

Original Oratory

An oration is a memorized, motivational speech which attempts to convince, inspire, stimulate thinking, or move the listener to action.  The subject should be of social value and significance and should be limited to a specific topic.  The orator may use any suitable pattern of organization which provides a clear, logical development of his/her thesis.  It should incorporate stories, examples, logic, research, analysis, evaluation and personal conviction.  Some humor may be used to help keep the interest of the listeners, but this should not be a stand-up, or an interpretation routine.  An oration is not an essay—it is a speech.


Informative Speaking

is a platform-speaking event in which the student chooses a topic, then researches, writes and memorizes an informative speech that is interesting, meaningful, and pertinent.  This speech is delivered from memory and the use of visual aids is permitted.  The speech has a 10-minute maximum time limit.


Extemporaneous Speaking

The purpose of these two events is to encourage an interest in current issues and to provide an opportunity for the students to discuss issues “extemporaneously” (not memorized).  The issues are divided between domestic and international topics.  The speaker is expected to base his/her remarks on factual material and interpret this information considering the question provided at the tournament.  The speaker has 30 minutes in which to create a speech and then deliver it to an audience.


Impromptu Speaking

Outside a speech tournament contest, unprepared speaking situations are most commonly encountered.  Impromptu enables the speaker to develop spontaneous speaking skills on various topics.  The speaker will be given three topics to select from and have seven minutes to prepare a speech, and five minutes to deliver it.


Debate Events

Lincoln Douglas Debate

Lincoln Douglas debate is a one-person, value-based, audience-oriented, persuasive debate.  One person fulfills the affirmative case responsibilities and the other person fulfills the negative case responsibilities.  Debaters are encouraged to develop direct and communicative delivery.   Emphasis is necessarily placed upon issues involved rather than upon strategy in delivering the case.  This results in emphasizing logic, theory, and philosophy, while eliminating “plan” arguments.  Because of time limits, a wealth of evidence cannot be used, but research supported by good background is necessary.


Public Forum Debate

This form of debate is based on popular news channel discussion shows like CNN's Crossfire. Each team member has an opportunity to speak and summarize his or her main points to support his argument. After each speech, the opposing team members are given a few minutes to cross examine their opponent to try and undermine his argument.


Student Congress

Student Congress enables students to work as a team by writing bills and resolutions that would spark a national debate in congress.  Students will take their bills and resolutions to a tournament and speak as an authority figure in a mock congress setting, using parliamentary procedures.  The participants in the setting ask questions, speak in favor or in opposition of the bills and resolutions presented, and then vote whether they are worthy of passage. 

Acting Events

Oral Interpretation

Oral Interpretation is the art of re-creating a work of literary art and communicating it to the audience to arouse a meaningful response.  The interpreter’s goal must be to understand and appreciate the author’s ideas and emotions ass revealed in the literary work and communicate those feelings and ideas to the audience.  Within Oral Interpretation there are the following categories:  Poetry, Prose, Dramatic, Humorous and Duo and Programmed Interpretation.

Duet Acting

is just that, a two-person team that acts out a scene. The scene must be from a published play. The actors cannot use any props or costumes, but do have two chairs and a table to use any way they need for their 10-minute scene. Actors can look and touch each other.

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