Speech & Debate
Through speech classes and our competitive Speech and Debate team (formerly known as forensics) students develop the speaking and acting skills that allow them to become confident communicators in any arena. Students prepare, memorize, and present various types of dramatic material, competing locally and nationally against the finest high school speakers in the United States. Tournaments at Harvard, Wake Forest and Emory Universities prepare students for the highest level of competition. Traditionally, Brentwood Academy has excelled in a variety of events such as Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Original Oratory, Impromptu Speaking, Prose, and Poetry.
Speech ClassWhen taking a speech class at BA, students learn to become confident and poised speakers who are able to express themselves in ways that are engaging, inspiring, and unique. Using performance-driven techniques such as speeches, mock trial, debate and commercial production, students learn how to organize their thoughts, understand several sides of an issue, and persuade others. Speech is a required semester-long course.
Speech and Debate TeamWhat do Oprah Winfrey, James Dean and Kelsey Grammer have in common? They all competed on their high school speech and debate teams. Brentwood Academy’s speech and debate team includes competitive speech, acting, and debate. Brentwood Academy's team has ranked in the top 10 schools in the nation for competitive speaking, according to the National Forensic League national tournament. Students travel across the state and across the nation, pitting their speaking and acting skills against the best students in the country.
Seventh Grade Speech and DebateStudents are introduced to the art of speech and debate and gain practical knowledge about the categories, rules, and restrictions involved with speech competition. The students are given numerous opportunities to perform, including poetry interpretation, prose interpretation, humorous interpretation, dramatic interpretation, and duo interpretation. Whether the student has performance aspirations or simply wants to improve self-confidence, this class is designed to help him/her meet either goal.
Eighth Grade Speech and DebateA continuation of the previous course, this class is a step up in level of difficulty and length of performance pieces. The students learn how to select and analyze their own pieces for performance, as well as how to cut a selection for content and time constraints. The focus of this course is on the detailed performance and characterization. Students learn the difference between believable and "stock" characters and how to use the voice and the body, while adhering to the basic rules of speech and debate.