Eastside Academic Studies


Competitive Speech

Teacher: Robin Axelberd
Date/Time: Monday - 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM
Room: Youth Room
Department: Other
Grade Level: High School (9th-12th)

On a daily basis, we are often in circumstances where we need to be able to communicate our thoughts and ideas clearly and in a way that engages a listener or an audience. Additionally, public speaking is one of the most anxiety-inducing activities that adults experience, and yet it is a critical skill in so many facets of our students’ lives both now and in the future. Whether giving a presentation in a workplace or sharing their faith with a neighbor, good oral communication skills are a must!

This competitive speech class prepares students to deliver one or more speeches at a Stoa speech and debate tournament. Stoa is a Christian, homeschool-only, national speech and debate league, whose mission is for students to “Speak boldly and change the world for Christ.” The categories of speeches include:

Click on the speech event titles for the rules and more information, or you may visit https://stoausa.org/speech-event-documents/ and click on the box labeled “Rules.” I may also seek out other opportunities beyond Stoa for students to give oral presentations.

In the beginning of the year, we will cover basic presentation skills and discuss the categories and types of speeches available for competition. After students have determined the speech events  in which they may want to compete, the class will focus on the events on a weekly rotating basis in preparation for tournaments. As Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Students should attend every class, whether they have a speech in the particular category or not, as they will be able to help their fellow students improve and grow (and vice versa), and they will gain knowledge and skills which can be applied to their own speeches. One important note about speeches: With the exception of Limited Prep speeches, a student only has to write ONE speech per event for the year. Of course, the student may decide to make changes to the speech or try to write a new one. However, a student can use the same speech at every tournament during the year. 

Club Information and Tournaments

Students in this class will be a part of Dynamis Speech & Debate Club. (For additional information on Dynamis Speech & Debate club, please visit DynamisATL.club.) While the focus of this class is to teach the skills of public speaking and presenting, the goal is to have students compete in Stoa tournaments. Attending tournaments and competing is where growth takes place! Students will receive ballots and feedback on their speeches, which can, in turn, be used to help them sharpen and improve their skills. Tournaments also provide the opportunity for students to build relationships among our club members and to be a part of a community with homeschool students across the nation. Parents, too!

Tournaments take commitment from both the students AND the parents. Tournaments typically run all day Thursday-Saturday or Friday-Saturday. Students and parents are required to be at the tournament all day, every day of the tournament. In Georgia, a tournament is held roughly once every month from December-April. Additionally, tournaments are held nearby in Nashville, Huntsville, North Carolina, and also across the nation. Students are NOT required to attend every tournament. 

By registering for this class, parents acknowledge and agree to the following:

  • Parents must agree with the Statement of Faith provided on the Stoa website.

  • Parents must attend an information session and a “tournament training” (dates and times to be determined).

  • Parents agree to have their student(s) participate in at least two tournaments during the year.

  • Parents MUST attend, supervise, and be available to judge at all tournaments their students attend, OR provide an adult (20+) who will fulfill those responsibilities.

  • A parent may be asked to attend club 2-3 times a year to help.

Tuition Fees:

My number one goal is to provide as many students as possible the skills, experiences, and benefits of competitive speech and debate. Like many extracurricular activities, competitive speech (and debate) has on-going costs, especially to participate in tournaments; therefore, I keep tuition at a minimum.

Tuition: $350. Payment may be divided between each semester, preferably one payment each semester. 


If you are enrolled in the Competitive Team Policy class, tuition is $150.

Take 5% off each sibling enrolled in the course. Discounts can be combined. 

Stoa Membership: Required to participate in tournaments. See StoaUSA.org for pricing and payment. You may wait to join until September 30, after which the price increases.

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