On Sept. 22, KO’s own junior Braeden Rose earned second place for Best Speaker at a debate at Roxbury Latin School, as he proficiently and confidently rose above the challenging competition in public speaking.
Braeden participated in this competition with three other Forensic Union members: juniors Braden Flowers, Christina Lu and Risha Ranjan. Braden was Braeden’s “colleague” or debate partner, for all three debates.
Braeden won this award after debating over three resolutions, winning two and losing one. He was ranked out of 100 for his debating skills during all three debates, eventually coming in second. He scored 265 out of a possible 300. These rankings were tallied up to find the winning score. At first, he tied with the first-place finisher, but unfortunately lost during the consequent tiebreakers.
Resolutions were learned at the start of each round, giving Braeden and Braden little time to prepare. All three resolutions were based on social or political issues, with the first over whether elementary school students should learn a second language, the second about whether governments should negotiate with terrorists, and the third about banning vaping. The pair lost their first debating, arguing in opposition to the resolution. However, they rebounded and won their next two debates in a confident fashion.
Braeden said he thinks that his confidence allowed him to perform well at the event, and is one of the key traits to becoming a good public speaker. “I think the big thing is confidence, because especially at the first meet, you’re going to have a lot of people who are nervous to be in front of a judge, but you can get a lot of points if your voice is steady,” he said. “Even if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you can be confident and it can’t be very apparent.”
While winning this award was a great start for Braeden’s year in Forensic Union, he said he believes there are some aspects of his debate he needs to work on. “I think I need to work on organization,” he said. “When you first get your topic, you get 10 minutes to prepare, and I think in general, I need to think out my arguments a little beforehand.”
His teammates believe that his political knowledge allows him to be so successful on the podium. “He also does Model UN, which makes him aware of many worldly topics about diplomacy,” Christina said. “So what happens is he likes to tackle policy issues, that’s what he does best.”
While Braeden may need to work on preparation directly before debates, his teammates had high praise for his public speaking skills. “It’s a real skill to be able to concisely organize your thoughts while you’re doing other things,” Braden said. “And that’s something he’s really good at.”
English teacher and Forensic Union coach Heather Wayne feels that this year’s Forensic Union could live up to the accolades and build off of Braeden’s success. “I think it’s going to be a good year for us,” she said. “We’ve been in ‘growth mode’ for the past year or two, just getting newer debaters up to speed and more practice, but this year we have a fair amount of debaters who’ve been to a lot of tournaments and gaining more confidence.”
Braeden’s award signals the start of a great year.