Where did the summer go?! August is upon us already!
You all know what that means. No, it’s not the beginning of school. It’s the beginning of intense preparation for the speech and debate season! If you want to prepare well, you’re going to want some solid resources. There are speech and debate resources for just about every need you could possibly have. Debate? Check. Platform? Check. Interp? Check. Apologetics curriculum that allows you to master Apologetics by writing only 25 cards? Check!
Normally, Thoroughly Equipped: The Comprehensive Guide to Apologetics costs $69.97. That feels expensive to some people, but they typically understand the price better once I give a short explanation. Here’s how I think about the regular price of Thoroughly Equipped: There are approximately 100 Apologetics topics. If you want to cover them all, that means writing 100 cards. Thoroughly Equipped allows you to master Apologetics by writing only 25 cards. That means there are an additional 75 cards that you do not have to write.
When someone purchases the curriculum, they are spending just under a dollar for every card they do not have to write. At three hours per card, that’s 225 hours saved–almost 10 days of non-stop writing, day and night, no sleep. Ten days of your life are worth $69.97, right?
But you don’t even have to pay full price. Today is the beginning of a pre-season sale on Thoroughly Equipped! From today until Labor Day (September 2nd), you can purchase Thoroughly Equipped at a 15% discount–only $59.97. Plus, everyone who purchases the curriculum during that period will also receive a discount on my upcoming book on Apologetics, Defend, when it releases in the next month or so.
This opportunity is yours for the next two weeks. Tournament season will be here before you know it. Are you equipped?
Finally, this is it. The culmination. All of your hard work has been preparation for this moment. Standing in front of the judging panel, you are ready to deliver your presentation. But how? What are the foundations of solid delivery? In Chapter 9 of Defend, the last chapter of the book, I address the three classic aspects of rhetoric: ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos is your character, your credibility–how much can the judges trust you? Pathos is your passion–do you really care about this topic? Logos is your logic, your facts, your support–did you just make up these ideas, or do Scripture and other sources back them up? With about a dozen tips on how to improve your ethos, pathos, and logos, this chapter is a must-read.
So, you’re totally prepared. With research done, writing completed, organization accomplished, and retrieval established, you’re ready to speak. What now? Chapter 8 of Defend deals with exactly that issue. Addressing how you should act once you enter the room, this chapter starts off by giving you tips on how to make a positive first impression on the judges. While you’re deliberating over which topic to choose, you can recall the tips this chapter provides on how to make the best topic decision. After you have chosen a topic, your prep time begins in earnest: this chapter ensures that you know how to use it well.
After the writing process, you now have either a bunch of documents on your computer or a huge pile of 4×6 cards lying around. What do you do now? Chapter 7 of Defend details my personal approach to both storage and retrieval. Beginning with that most valuable possession of Apologetics competitors, the Apologetics box, I give suggestions as to what kind to use as well as what you should put inside yours. But then the question arises: How do I know where all of my cards are? After all, with over 100 topics you can’t very well go thumbing through all of them vainly searching for that one elusive topic. Moreover, that’s a waste of prep time! After overviewing the various storage systems available, I explain the system I personally prefer. Then, the focus necessarily transfers to retrieval. How can you quickly retrieve an individual card from your storage system? I share my revolutionary “Paper Clip Retrieval System”! I know, it sounds cheesy, but it works. That’s what really matters when it comes to storage and retrieval.
Content is king. In my first year of Apologetics (my third year of competition), I placed fairly well. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement: I broke to outrounds at every tournament I attended and placed 12th at NITOC (I wasn’t able to attend NCFCA Nationals that year). While I was a fluid speaker, my speaking style had not been fully refined. I attribute much of my success in Apologetics that year to the solid content I consistently delivered. Chapter 6 of Defend addresses the writing process. Once you have completed your research, where do you go from there? Beginning with creating an outline, I provide you with my tips for either finding an outline from another source or writing your own. Then, I transition into filling out that outline. From introductions and conclusions, to taking advantage of other cards you’ve previously written, to whether to write your entire speech out word-for-word, it’s all there.