Wheeling Park High School's Debate Team Weighs In on Wednesday's Presidential Debate
By Kelsey Kennedy, Producer/Digital Journalist - email
WHEELING, W.Va -
The Wheeling Park High School Debate Team knows what they're talking about. The team has won the past thirty three State Championships, so who better to ask about techniques and issue delivery when it comes to Wednesday's presidential debate.
Mr. Josh Fromhart's class has been working hard so far this school year, and they know their stuff. The class put on a practice debate to show WTRF how things like body language and facial expressions can impact viewers opinions about the candidates.
Debate team member, Devyn Nickerson says facial expressions must match the speech content.
"Say you were talking about something that is very serious, you need to have a serious look on your face," she says. "If you are talking about something that can be good for the country, you need to have a good excited expression on your face. It can make all the difference in a speech."
Debate team member Blake Humphrey explains how to watch a debate and what to look for to help you make a decision on which candidate's arguments most closely match your own beliefs.
"What I look for is the quality of arguments and how they present the arguments as well as themselves," he says. "A lot of blinking like I said before, shows a sign of weakness and sometimes shows lying. I also suggest they make eye contact with the camera and with each other. It's important that they vocalize their arguments, and it's important that they go out there and be respectful and cordial to the other candidate."
Debate Coach Josh Fromhart says he hopes Obama and Romney put the mudslinging aside tonight. He says in the debate setting you have to be respectful to be respectable.
"Will I be looking for teachable moments? Absolutely," he says. "As a matter of fact, I'm going to find a way to record the debate to bring into class so we can watch and discuss everything from their policies to what was brought up."
The debate team also says that how a candidate acts while the other is speaking says a lot. Respectful candidates will write notes and listen carefully, rather than rolling their eyes or being dismissive.
Wheeling Park's Debate Team competes across the state throughout the school year. Coach Fromhart says his team will go for thirty four straight wins at the State Championship in March.