People Of Lafayette: senior heads to Speech and Debate State Tournament after four first place finishes


Paul Jaycox

While waiting for the rest of the results at the Marquette Invitational on , senior Shreya Ramalingam holds her first place trophy. Ramalingam has been on the team for four years and has been to State once before.

Audrey Keller, News Staff

With the Speech and Debate State Tournament on April 21-22, senior Shreya Ramalingam is preparing to place in her event, original 0ratory. 

The event is like a TED Talk.

 “It’s a 10-minute memorized speech,” Ramalingam said.

She made it to State last year for the Public Forum Debate, however, she was close to also making it to State for oratory.

“Last year I did oratory, and I got third place,” Ramalingam said.

Along with Ramalingam, senior Samantha Zhang will progress to State for the radio event and junior Sarah Ebenezer will go to State to compete in the Lincoln Douglas debate. In this year alone, Ramalingam has placed first at all four tournaments she gave this speech and has also won District Champion in original oratory.

“The title of my oratory is called Cult of Independence and I talked about how independence is a good thing, but as a society, we’re taking it too far,” she said.

Her journey with oratory was filled with many trials and errors. In hindsight, Ramalingam said she wasn’t an all-star in previous years, but she didn’t let that stop her. 

“When you don’t do good and you get good critiques from judges, that’s like the best thing for you,” Ramalingam said.

Through experience, she has improved.

“I follow a pattern of build up and build up. You lay out what the problem is as you explain what the problems are. You kind of relate the problems in your own life, then you have a climax of what happened. It’s not a formulaic speech, it’s really however you want,” she said.

When needed, she got help from her teammates and the coaches.

“We have a bond,” Ramalingam said. She’s learned a lot from the team, like not focusing on the failures. 

 “If you harp on that, you just won’t get anywhere. You understand your mistakes, you move on but you’re proud of yourself for doing that round,” Ramalingam said.