Speech Courses

Classical Speech
Suggested Age







This course is designed to give students skill, confidence, and fluency in public speaking. Speech is as much about training students to think as it about oral communication. Students who are trained to speak well are also trained to think well. Throughout the course we will study the structure and style of great historical speeches and the five cannons of rhetoric: inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria and pronuntiatio. The five cannons will lead students through a process of formulating arguments and putting information together in powerful structures so that they can communicate effectively. During the course of the semester students will have extensive opportunities to speak in front of the class. At the start of the semester we will pay special attention to helping students overcome the fear of public speaking. Students will need to purchase the textbook before the first day of class.


  • The Art of Public Speaking, Ninth Edition, Stephen Lucas ISBN-13 978-0-07-313564-9. The textbook can be purchased used online at Amazon. We will have several used editions of the textbook for sale this summer at Orientation.

  • Course Supplement - order at ODA bookstore

Competitive Speech
Suggested Age

7 and up






This class will learn and apply essential acting techniques in order to develop and perfect speech interpretations for competition. Areas of exploration to improve acting skills include: 

  1. Improvisation

  2. Character Development

  3. Scene Development

  4. Researching Literature

  5. Cutting their piece

  6. Analysis of Purpose and Theme

  7. Presenting a Polished Product

Each organization has certain rule for competition.  I will focus on the rules for the National Christian Forensics Communication Association and for STOA.  If there is another organization in which the student would like to compete, I will research and work within their rules for that student. 

The class focuses on Open and Duo Interpretations.  However, the students will also get an opportunity to practice all of their speech events for feedback.  


Through games, exercises, feedback, staging, and rehearsal, the student will learn to craft a competitive interpretative piece for competition.  The skills practiced in the class will benefit the student in any area in life. 


  • Students will have an opportunity to attend a practice tournament 

  • Students will have the opportunity to attend NCFCA and/or STOA tournaments

  • I attend NCFCA tournaments and will be there to rehearse with the students

  • The family is responsible for any costs associated with the tournaments

  • A parent must attend the tournaments with the student

  • The parent is responsible for the supervision of the student at the tournaments


  • See instructor

Intro to Speech, Debate and Mock Trial 
Suggested Age







Purpose: This class is intended for middle school students as a fun introduction to rhetoric with an emphasis on public speaking, debate, and mock trial.  It is a stepping-stone to high school level classes such as Classical Speech and Mock Trial competition.  All three units will focus on developing students’ critical thinking, analytical abilities, and communication skills. 

In the fall, students will get more comfortable with public speaking and learn about the various types of speeches, focusing on informative and persuasive speeches.  Students will write and deliver both an informative speech and a persuasive speech.  
During the winter, students will learn about debate format, research, and argumentation. Students will conduct debate research and prepare their cases for Lincoln-Douglas class debates in February.
Mock Trial:
In the spring, students will start an introductory unit on mock trial. Students will be introduced to civil and criminal trials, the rules of evidence, and how to conduct direct and cross-examinations. Students will have the opportunity to act as witnesses and/or attorneys during a mock trial held in class in May.