Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ISU Debaters Take Top Speaking Awards at the College of Southern Idaho

Brandon Biggs & Patrick Loftus
In a quick trip to the College of Southern Idaho on September 26th and 27th, Idaho State debaters Brandon Biggs and Patrick Loftus earned top speaking honors and placed third overall in British Parliamentary Debate.  Also competing were Nicholas Tarbet and Karen Lei.

The Fran Tanner Invitational at the College of Southern Idaho hosted seventy debate entries in three divisions of debate.  After four preliminary debates, Loftus and Biggs were seeded second and invited to debate in the final round of British Parliamentary debate where they placed third overall.  In addition, Loftus and Biggs were honored as the top speakers at the tournament with a total of 693 speaker points finishing nine full points above the second place team.  Loftus and Biggs took first or second place in three of their four debates.

The team debated in British Parliamentary Debate which is a debate format designed to include eight individual speakers from four teams.  British Parliamentary is a fast paced, fun debate format that allows audience participation.   Each speaker has one seven minute speech but may ask questions of other speakers during their speech times, mimicking the style of the British Parliament.  This type of debate is accessible to public audiences and encourages proper delivery, jokes, and rhetorical flourishes while relying on the foundations of a good argument.  Rather than choosing a winner and a looser, the judges collaborate to rank order the four teams participating in the debate.

Patrick Loftus said, "I had a great time at the tournament working together with Brandon. I was very humbled to get the placing we did and am excited to be receiving positive results mid-season."
Brandon Biggs & Patrick Loftus Debating at CSI
The coaches are also pleased with the results.  Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre, Director of the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society at Idaho State, said, “We are excited to try British Parliamentary because it is an engaging form of debate that develops students’ persuasive abilities and increases portable skills.”  Indeed, Forbes has listed Communication skills as #2 in the list of the twenty people skills you need to succeed at work.  In a recent Forbes article about the Benefits of speech and debate, Robert Sher argued,

“Here is the truth about students who compete in speech and debate.  They’ve spent hundreds of hours perfecting their speaking skills.  Many have done intensive research to write their speeches.  All have endured the pressure that competition brings, and have performed well intellectually under such pressure.  They’ve made connections and friendships with other high performing peers.  All of these behaviors are excellent predictors of success on any leadership team.”

Partlow Lefevre said, “British Parliamentary debate is particularly good at encouraging students to develop analytic skills, good delivery practices, and a persuasive style.”

                Apparently, Loftus and Biggs are well on their way to perfecting skills that will continue to pay dividends in college and beyond.  “I am so proud of their success and the way that they positively represent Idaho State University,” Dr. Partlow Lefevre said, “The skills they are learning today will last long after the debates end.”

If you are interested in debate or would like to learn more, please contact Dr. Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre using the contact form on the right.
Top Speaker and Third Place (Bronze) Trophies.