Public Speaking & Argumentation
Build a foundation for expressing yourself
About the Workshop
This workshop is for students new to public speaking and debate – including students from around the world – and provides a solid foundation for communication in academic and career contexts, as well as potential participation in our event-specific workshops in subsequent summers. This experiential immersion in meaningful speaking practice is unlike any traditional classroom course!
Session One: June 25 through July 7
Session Two: July 9 through July 21
Our curriculum is designed as a hands-on exploration to cultivate confident public speakers as they develop presentation skills grounded in an understanding of rhetoric and argumentation in the a twenty-first century public sphere.
Sample Daily Schedule
9:00am – Introduction to rhetoric and public speaking
10:30am – Exercise: students give their speeches of self introduction
12:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Communication apprehension – why it happens and techniques for managing ‘stage fright’
2:00pm – Topic Development and organization
3:30pm – Research in Speaking
5:00pm – Dinner
7:00pm – Evening lab meeting (small groups) – students read about their topic area and prepare a brief of key arguments.
5 Key Skills Students Will Learn
- utilize research strategies to collect evidence and craft arguments
- analyze and adapt to various audiences
- develop speech content to meet the expectations of the rhetorical situation
- effectively deliver their arguments to live and mediated audiences
- critically engage arguments in a debate format
The first week focuses on learning to speak in smaller groups, where they build oratorical skills through a series of carefully formulated exercises. This practice culminates with public speaking in Harvard Square, where students urge passersby to pay attention to their impassioned speeches on important contemporary topics.
The second week focuses on basic debating, where students delve deeper into the nuances of a specific issue, from a variety of positions and perspectives. This culminates in a mini debate tournament, giving students a practical experience in basic competition, along with how to cope with the pressure and handle defeat and victory with grace.
By the end of their experience, students will be equipped with the tools they need to be effective future leaders, armed with skills to responsibly develop arguments, sway audiences, manage communication apprehension, research current topics, reach resistant audiences, and develop debate strategies for in-person and online audiences.
William Mosley-Jensen, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Trinity University
Title: Director of Debate, Assistant Professor of Human Communication
Debate experience: 3 years high school, 5 years college
Coaching: 6 years assistant coaching at University of Georgia (UGA), 2 years directing at Trinity. 12 years teaching summer workshops, including 3 years at the Emory National Debate Institute
Other relevant info: Ph.D. in rhetoric from UGA
Tripp Rebrovik, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Harvard University – Director of Debate
Years: Hired 2017, also assistant coached 2009-2011
Debate experience: While debating at Harvard, he received 3 first-round bids to the NDT, was a four-time NDT elimination round participant, and 5th speaker (2008 and 2009). He debated at Montgomery Bell Academy in high school, where he was the top speaker at the TOC and the winner of NFL Nationals in 2005.
Coaching: Dr. Rebrovick has coached summer workshops since 2005.
Honors/accomplishments: Dr. Rebrovick earned his Ph.D. in political science at Johns Hopkins University after graduating from Harvard College in 2009. He was previously a lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
J. Scott Baker, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Univ. of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UW-L) – Asst. Professor, Department of Education Studies
Years: 2 at UW-L; Total 20 years of teaching experience at secondary/ post-secondary levels.
Debate experience: Competed in public speaking and literary interpretive events in high school and in college.
Teaching: High school English, debate, and speech teacher for 18 years in urban settings outside of Houston (Cypress Creek HS, Cypress Ridge HS, Jersey Village HS) and Ft. Worth, Texas (Haltom HS), coaching local, state, and national winners. In 2014, he coached the NIETOC national champion in Oratory.
Honors/accomplishments: Earned Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, and holds teaching licenses in both Texas and Wisconsin in English and Speech Communication (grades 6-12). Dr. Baker’s current research focuses on arts-based undergraduate advocacy for social justice issues, speech & debate education, and Poetic Inquiry. Dr. Baker was recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in 2017 with its highest single honor for Speech, Debate & Theatre education, and has earned his Third Diamond with the National Speech & Debate Association.
Ray Celeste Tanner
Affiliation: University of Mary Washington, VA
Title: Speaking Center & Quality Enhancement Plan Assistant
Years: Student 4, Staff 1
Debate experience: 3 years of high school; 3 years at HDC workshops
Other relevant info: Consultant at the UMW Speaking Center, UMW Orientation Leader
Affiliation: University of Mary Washington
Title: Student/Debater/Consultant at the University of Mary Washington Speaking Center; Political Science and Philosophy major
Debate experience: 4 years high school, 3 years of college Policy Debate (studied abroad during senior year), 4 years of public debate.
Coaching: Coached my high school debate team during my senior year of high school, and I have been judging debate since my sophomore year on high school. Previously taught 3 years at HDC workshops.
Brandon P. Fleming
School Affiliation: The Ron Clark Academy
Title: Philosophy & Political Science Instructor
Debate experience: Liberty University, 1 year
Coaching: 3 years coaching; 3 years summer workshops, Emory University Summer Institute for the Gifted
Lee Pierce, Ph.D.
School Affiliation: Georgia State University
Years: First Year (formerly 7 years at the University of Georgia)
Debate experience: Advisor to the Loud N Clear Public Forums 2010-2012 at the University of Georgia
Coaching: 5 years as an Instructor for the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIPS) Public Speaking, Advocacy, and Leadership Institute
Other relevant info: PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia, 2015. MA from State University of New York College at Brockport, 2008.
School Affiliation: University of Mary Washington
Number of Years at School: 4, B.A. Communication
High School/College Debate Experience: 3 years of high school debate (Lincoln Douglas and Speech), 3 years of college debate (public debate)
Other Relevant Info: High school debate judge, 4 years (including 1 year as lead consultant) at UMW Speaking Center, where I coached hundreds of students 1 on 1 to help them become better public speakers. I developed and ran multiple workshops on public speaking topics at UMW, and I presented at the National Association of Communication Centers conference in 2013
Years Previously Taught at HDCSW: 1
School Affiliation: Philosophy Student at EKU, President of the Philosophy & Debate Society at EKU
Title: Instructor and Student
Number of Years at School: 4 years in college
High School/College Debate Experience: 3 Years of High School Debate competitively , 3 Years of
High School debate as Coach. Currently facilitating lectures in Kentucky regarding theory and ideology.
Coaching Experience: One year As president of The Philosophy & Debate Society at EKU.
School Affiliation: West Georgia University
Number of Years at School: 4
High School/College Debate Experience: 2 years of high-school, 4 years of College
Years Previously Taught at other workshops: Cal Debate and Speech Institute(2014), Spartan Debate Institute(2014)