Five YouTube Channels for Speech and Debate Students

debate speech speech techniques Dec 09, 2022

Our families often ask us for book recommendations to help younger students better understand logic, research, and argumentation. Don't get us wrong--we love literature. The benefits of reading physical books are well-documented. Some students, however, do better with auditory learning. That's where some terrific content creators on YouTube can help. Here are some channels some speech students draw inspiration from for their anecdotes, analogies, and arguments.

Please note: some content may not be suitable for all audiences. Parental discretion is advised. In general, this content is best internalized by more mature competitors (8th grade and older).

Channel #1: Intelligence Squared

Intelligence Squared brings together experts to debate unabashedly controversial subjects. From geopolitical issues like Brexit and Saudi Arabian human rights to cultural concerns like identity politics and veganism, viewers watch advocates attempt to persuade discerning audiences. Debaters can benefit from seeing how real-life persuaders employ rhetoric and marshal evidence.

Channel #2: Great Big Story

Great Big Story, which hasn't posted new videos in a few years, is a terrific resource for Impromptu, Informative, and Oratory. It describes compelling stories about how useful things were invented, little known-facts about our planet, and human interest narratives about interesting people. Viewers can use these stories, and study how the channel conveys them, to improve their own storytelling.

Channel #3: Simple History

Simple History conveys dry-on-paper anecdotes from history through animation. Most of their videos, though not all, deal with military history. Some of their older playlists detail wonders of the world, geography, and human achievements. Like Great Big Story, this information is useful for public address and limited preparation categories. The analysis of military strategy may benefit debaters describing conflict-related resolutions.

Channel #4: School of Life

School of Life offers an accessible, eclectic blend of videos on sociology, art, architecture, literature, philosophy, self-help, and political theory. The videos are well-animated, well-researched, and near-universally applicable to public address categories. The 2017 and 2018 national champions in Expository, for instance, got the ideas for their speeches from School of Life videos. All competitors may benefit from the channel's advice on handling competitive anxiety and keeping successes and failures in perspective.

Channel #5: Overly Sarcastic Productions

Overly Sarcastic Productions is a fun animated series summarizing classic myths, legends, literature, and pop culture tropes. Some students are well-versed in academic subjects but don't have the time to be exposed to some important parts of pop culture. This channel does the best job of any on YouTube at catching young viewers up to speed on media cliches and making older, denser texts more exciting and understandable.

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