Children interrupt BBC News interview – BBC News Video by BBC News
Robert E. Kelly, a political-science professor at Pusan National University in South Korea experienced first hand what it means to be distracted and interrupted during an important interview. When giving an interview, presentation or speech there are only a limited number of variables you are able to control. Obviously, the ideal scenario is to prepare your environment to the best of your ability to minimize distractions to maximize your audience’s focus. What happens when you’re caught off guard and have to deal with an unexpected heckler, a case of dry mouth or even the invasion of a toddler? The first thing to remember is what you have control over, which in this case, is yourself. How you decide to respond or react to such situations can position you as a confident leader or a weak presenter. Addressing the elephant in the room positions you as someone who is aware of their surroundings and isn’t afraid to deal with difficult obstacles that may come your way.
With today’s students constantly inundated with texts, alerts, social media, etc it has become even more important that students have the discipline to not only prioritize these constant distractions but to focus and thrive through them. Capitol Debate grabs the bull by the horns in this regard. Instead of telling students to leave their phones in their pockets or their laptops out of sight we use these tools to help teach students the ability to filter important things and tune out those distractions. By using our online format during the school year and laptops for research and communication during Summer camp students learn that while these things have their place they should never be a distraction from the larger goal of academic excellence. Capitol Debate uses these tools to teach that your laptop and phone are not just for games and talking but powerful tools for research and gaining knowledge about the world around you. These are the key foundations to building more confident speakers and students.
“Confidence. It is important for middle school students to develop confidence and self-esteem (CCE, 2005). There is considerable evidence that competitive debate develops confidence and supports student empowerment. Debate participants “often experience debate as a form of personal empowerment. This includes feelings of personal efficacy, educational engagement, and political agency” (O’Donnell, 2010, p. 51). It gives students confidence they need to interact with peers and authority figures. As Cori Dauber (1989) explains, debate teaches students that “they ought not be intimidated by the rhetoric of expertise” surrounding policy issues (p. 207).”