A chat with top debater Geneva Roy

 This week, King’s caught up with Deputy Head Girl Geneva Roy (Year 13, Taylor) to talk about her recent success in debating: receiving the Best Speaker and Best Style award at the Auckland Regional Debating Competition. 

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Tell us a bit more about the Best Style award?

Geneva Roy: The Best Style award is an achievement given to the participant at Regionals who has the most effective style throughout the competition, this involves aspects of tone, pace, emphasis, and emotion.

How do you feel about winning best speaker? 

GR: I was surprised but also extremely grateful to receive Best Speaker at the Auckland Regionals Debating Competition. The quality of the competition was very high, so I felt extremely honoured to be recognised as the best speaker.

What position do you speak in and what is the most difficult part of debating in that position? What is your role on the team?

GR: I speak as a first speaker in my team, which in my opinion is the best position. My role is to set up the context and grounding for the debate, to explain what my team stands for and to bring out our main substantive material. The most difficult part of debating as a first speaker is that it is crucial to bring out the right case and material, in order to ensure the rest of the debate follows the right direction.

Why do you love debating? What has been the best part of your experience so far?

GR: I love debating because it gives students a formal platform to discuss issues and to argue topics from various perspectives, even ones that might not be their own. The best part of my experience so far would be debating in the upper chamber of Parliament last year in the National Final, in front of MP's such as Andrew Little, Peter Dunne and Christopher Bishop. 

What’s the most interesting topic that you have had to debate? 

GR: That's a really hard question! I've debated a lot of interesting topics, from international relations to economics to feminism, but probably one of the best motions would be "This house regrets Donald Trump as the republican candidate".

What skills do you gain from debating? 

GR: Debating has allowed to me to develop my public speaking skills and my ability to structure an argument and an opinion. It also encourages you to learn about current events, politics, economics, international relations and social justice issues. Debating has also allowed me to develop my confidence not only as an individual but also in my own personal ideas and opinions. 

How does King’s support your endeavours in debating?

GR: Debating bears a strong history at King's, with the College producing excellent debaters in the past and we have a very impressive debating programme within the College. King's enabled me to debate in the top premier advanced grade, alongside my peers, and without this opportunity, I would never have been able to get the chance to compete at Nationals. King's also encouraged me to take my debating a step further by allowing me to coach the younger students this year. Debating has become such a crucial and influential part of my life, and I really hope I can encourage younger students to give it a go and develop a passion, so they can love it as much as I do!