Welcome to OUR NEW HOME

I’m so glad you’re here!

If you are a customer of DFW Speech and Debate through the years, let me extend a heartfelt thank you for walking through this last year with us and for your interest in our future. If you are new to DFW Speech and Debate, I am excited you’ve found us and I want to welcome you to our family. I would like to accomplish three things in this post: commemorate and remember the past, refocus on our mission, and explain some exciting new updates that you'll see.

First and foremost, I want to commemorate and honor our Suzanne Nasser, our founding director. Mrs. Nasser founded this company with a heart of service and excellence. Her vision of speech and debate transforming students into leaders was rooted first and foremost in love. She loved all students, even ones that she did not coach. She encouraged and exhorted and called forth the best from many generations of students and was a fixture in the speech and debate community in Texas and across the nation. Over her years of coaching, Mrs. Nasser was directly responsible for bringing our critical-thinking brand of coaching to (conservatively) over 10,000 students. When Mrs. Nasser passed away unexpectedly last summer, her impact was already unimaginable, even though her vision had only just begun. DFW Speech and Debate can never outgrow Mrs. Nasser’s vision and passion; we can only strive and hope to one day do it justice. In that vein, we begin by re-orienting this summer toward our mission and in order to best uphold it for our students.

We have always been a company focused on raising up the next generations of leaders. Our mission is to equip students with critical thinking skills, persuasive public speaking skills, a desire for truth, and an above-reproach character as they compete in speech and debate. We accomplish this by hiring coaches who have seen success themselves, and can both model and coach these traits in all of our students. We gear all of our offerings and services toward helping students from all backgrounds and experiences. When we choose to update products or processes as a company, we always orient ourselves toward our mission and ask whether it helps benefit student more than before. Keeping this in mind, I would like to walk through several updates that long-time customers of DFW Speech and Debate will notice.

The first update is obvious: our new website! We wanted to give our customers a simple yet powerful website that connects them quickly to what they need. Our new interfaces also reduce the amount of time we spend as a team doing admin work, which means we have more time to devote to students and curriculum. Our website is a work in progress. If you have feedback or run into issues, please contact us so we can improve your experience. We are already excited about the potential of our new platform.

The second update is one we have considered for years, and our new website finally allows us to capitalize on its potential: all of our curriculum will be released digitally. In the past, we have always printed and shipped curriculum to our customers. That meant customers were paying us to drive to Staples, print thousands upon thousands of pages, lick hundreds of stamps, and put them on hundreds of packages. It was difficult, time-consuming, and it created a punishing editing process driven by printing deadlines instead of release deadlines. This year, our curriculum will be launched in our website store (which is currently being created) and be available to purchase on August 20th. When you purchase the curriculum, you will immediately be sent a download link to a file containing the curriculum of your choice. You immediately have access, and your curriculum will never get damaged or delayed by factors outside our control. You are free to print the curriculum yourself if you desire, but us not having to print or ship means our curriculum’s price will be reduced to account for less labor and no shipping costs. Overall, you will save money and we will have many more hours to put toward generating the type of excellent content we value.

The third update is exciting and bittersweet. For years, DFW Speech and Debate has hosted speech and debate camps to jumpstart students’ competition years. The camps were a fantastic experience, but logistically required an unsustainable amount of resources. We had discussed at length and tested the implementation of online workshops last year with great success. We found that online workshops are first and foremost accessible to a larger number of people. Previously, students struggled attending camps because of the cost of travel as well as camp tuition. Utilizing technology allows us to lower price without lowering quality – we just no longer have to pay for buildings, insurance, utilities, and other unseen costs that ultimately had to be passed on to campers as part of the cost of camp. We also found that recording the workshop allowed our students to go back and listen to concepts they initially found confusing, which led to deeper understanding. It warmed my heart to see students that initially attended some of our policy and value debate workshops at the national championship. Overall, we believe access to our training is more important than a building to be trained in. Consequently, DFW Speech and Debate will not be hosting camps, but will instead be offering online workshops for both value and policy debate. For clubs seeking training, we are willing to create an online workshop that includes training for what you want. For individual students around the nation, we will offer scheduled workshops that are open for all to attend. Scheduled workshops will be posted within the next week, but club leaders are free to go ahead and submit requests to schedule a personalized workshop. You can check them out on our online workshops page.

Finally, we would like to share some teasers for how we will spend the newfound time that workshops and the new website are affording us. Our first priority this summer will be preparing for our workshops, as well as for our curriculum release date. We want to take our time as we delve into new resolutions (Energy policy for our NCFCA TP curriculum and war ethics for our NCFCA LD curriculum) to give you the best possible introduction to both areas. We also will be focusing more on our Tools for Team Policy Sourcebook than in years past. We aggressively recruited the best NCFCA policy researchers in the nation to join our staff. We are so excited about the potential of our team that we will dedicate a post just to introducing them and the vision for our sourcebook this year. We also will finally begin the process of making media-driven resources for our students. For years, we have wanted to make hands-on tutorials for debate skills ranging from flowing to research to case construction and everything in between. We recognized the value of doing interactive online workshops in part because of the value recordings give our students. We want to tap into that value as much as possible. A visual image is worth a thousand words.

We are so happy you are here. Please share this update with your friends, and share with them the news that DFW Speech and Debate is here to stay. We will forever remember and be thankful for the past, and we will continue striving to achieve our company’s vision for the future.

James Russell
DFW Speech and Debate