Speak for Yourself! (High School Public Speaking Club)

Speak for Yourself! is Compass’s high school public speaking club. The club is for homeschooled teens in 9th-12th grade who wish to hone their competitive oration skills. Members will meet twice a month with experienced speaking coaches to receive input and mentoring on specific orations that they are developing for competition. Members benefit from coaching, peer feedback, and having a practice audience at the meetings.

Members of Speak for Yourself! develop and deliver original orations for a variety of local and regional competitions. Club members will select from a list of possible competitions and opportunities, and not all members will participate in the same slate of competitions. The club is a pending member of the Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensic League which hosts five local tournaments and a regional semi-final with seven (7) genres of public speaking. The club will also participate in the Poetry Out Loud program. Other speech competitions that members may select from include: The Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest, The Sons of the American Revolution Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest, The American Legion Oratorical Contest, and/or The VFW Voice of Democracy Scholarship Contest.

This club is for motivated speakers who intend to participate in established public speaking/oration contests and tournaments. Members should have had prior instruction in public speaking, participated in mock trial, debate, Model UN, mock Congress, or similar forum, or prior experience in a student leadership role and/or making presentations in front of groups. This club is not meant for very beginning, apprehensive, or fearful public speakers. This club is also not for competitive debate. All members are encouraged to participate in at least two speech/oration events each year.

Club members must be homeschooled 9th-12th graders from the metro DC area. Mature 8th graders are welcome to participate in the club, but some high school competitions may not be open to 8th graders. Homeschooled students from MD or DC are welcome, but participation in some Virginia-based tournaments may be limited because of residency requirements. Members do not have to be current Compass students, however, non-Compass students may be asked to provide evidence of good standing as homeschoolers with their county’s current year acknowledgement/receipt of Notice of Intent and Evidence of Progress.

Meeting Schedule
Speak for Yourself! Meets on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesday afternoons each month from 4:00 pm- 5:00 pm at Compass starting September 25. Meeting dates for 2019-20 are as follows: 9/25/19, 10/16/19, 10/30/19, 11/6/19, 11/20/19, 12/4/19, 12/18/19, 1/15/20, 1/29/20, 2/5/20, 2/19/20, 3/4/20, 3/18/20, 4/1/20, 4/15/20, and 5/6/20 (club party). No meetings on 10/2/19, 1/1/20, or 4/29/20.

Interested students should sign up online through the Compass Store. Membership fees are used to cover the cost of the club’s membership in the WACFL plus club supplies. The membership fee for non-Compass students includes an additional activity and facility fee. If the club is approved for membership in the National Speech & Debate Association (appeal pending), an additional membership fee would apply.