On Sunday, Feb. 10, the Kingswood Oxford Forensic Union team competed in and hosted the annual public speaking and debate tournament at KO. The team from KO was composed of four members, and their performance in their individual events landed Kingswood Oxford in second place overall.
Six schools competed this year, which was more than last year. “We moved the date of the competition off of Super Bowl Sunday,” Forensic Union Coach Michelle Schloss said. “Last year a couple of the teams all came wearing football jerseys and left as soon as the competition ended. The change in date allowed for more people to compete.”
The competition started with a brunch hosted by KO. Then students competed throughout the rest of the day and joined back together for the awards ceremony at the end. The Kingswood Oxford team was made up of seniors Janvi Sikand and Charlie Coxon, junior Elan Stadelmann, and sophomore Jane Liang.
Everyone competed in two events twice. “First you do either an after dinner or a persuasive speech,” Ms. Schloss said. “The second event is an extemporaneous or on the spot event, where you choose between impromptu speaking, or the other choice is ethical dilemmas.” Elan participated in impromptu speaking, in which students have two minutes to prepare a three to five-minute speech. He also did an after dinner speech and won second place in impromptu speaking. “I think it went well,” Elan said. “It felt like a culmination of how hard I had worked all year and going to Internationals definitely helped! I got the practice there, and I applied it locally!”
Overall the competition went well for KO. “I was super impressed with the comedy of the speeches our team came up with, or in Jane’s case, how ridiculously well researched her speech was,” Ms. Schloss said. “At a small tournament the competition is rough. Last year we weren’t able to compete as a team because someone got sick right before, so I was very happy we could do so well and place second in the competition this year.”
Elan was also excited with how the competition went. “It always just feels like a gathering of a lot of passion for public speaking,” Elan said. “The closest thing you could compare it to is a sports meet where everyone really wants to be there. It was a lovely experience, and I recommend competing regardless of skill level.”