Almost four years to the day he earned a national title in speech and debate as a middle-schooler, Milton’s Marshall Sloane (II) repeated the feat, this time becoming High School National Champion in international extemporaneous speaking at the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Marshall delivered 13 speeches over the course of the tournament, rising to the top of the 250 students from across the country who competed in his category. He earned awards for winning the finals as well as the entire category.
“This is a huge award. Marshall has worked very hard to get to this point,” says faculty member Susan Marianelli, Marshall’s coach and advisor. “History means everything to Marshall. Being aware of what’s going on in the world is important to him.” Marshall’s months of preparation involved a voracious study of current international events, along with skills that would help him best connect with his audience and the judges.
During international extemporaneous speaking, competitors are presented with a choice of three questions related to current world events and given 30 minutes to prepare a seven-minute speech that answers the selected question. During their preparation, they may use research materials they compiled prior to the event, but they may not conduct any additional online research, according to the tournament website. The speech is then delivered from memory.