General Sessions & Keynote

Monday - 2:30 pm

Kick-off - presented by the STOA Board
Come and hear the vision and direction of the STOA Board; where we have come from and where we would like to be in the years to come. You will also be given a chance to have some of your questions addressed during this first general session of the Conference.


Monday - 7:00 pm

Just the Facts Pleasepresented by Mike Winther & the Debate Committee
Parents, judges, coaches, lend me your ears. Most debate adjudications occur because of a mishandling or a misunderstanding of the nature of evidence. Whether you are a coach, a parent judge, or on tournament staff, this has been and continues to be a very important issue. Both Policy and Lincoln Douglas debaters use evidence and must adhere to the standards laid out by STOA. Arm yourself with the facts so you can properly teach your students, parents, and judges the importance of the proper use of this vital debate tool.


Tuesday - 11:00 am

TRAIN (Theory, Rules, Attitudes, Ideologies, Norms) - presented by Mike Winther & Company
As we attempt to produce the “ideal” forensics product, we have a number of tools at our disposal. It is the thesis of this seminar that for every “problem”, there are good and bad ways to deal with that problem. In this session, Mike will divide our tools into four categories (Rules, Attitude, Norms, and Theory) and help us better choose the best tool for each “issue” that confronts our activities. These perspectives are important to each level of our activity and should be understood by: parents, coaches, and league leaders.


Tuesday - 7:00 pm - Keynote

Living Toad Free!presented by Dan Bobinski
Common thinking is that we have the ability to motivate people, but in reality, that’s not the case. The word “motivation” literally means “a reason to move,” and since everyone moves for their own reasons, they each have their own motivations. What holds people back is not a lack of motivation, but rather the presence of obstacles! Using a humorous analogy and relatable life stories, this session explains the six core motivators, how motivations are formed, and how to connect more deeply with your students in their own areas of interest. Also: How to identify and remove the obstacles that are holding people back. The presenter of this workshop is a Certified Motivational Analyst and author of the book “Removing Obstacles to Success.”


Wednesday - 8:30 am

Bursting Bubbles - The Reality of Speech and Debate - presented by TJ Harding & Mary Winther
Life isn't fair and neither is Stoa Speech and Debate! There are going to be bad judges, bad ballots, accusations, etc. As coaches and parents, do we model maturity when these situations arise? How do we teach our students about not expecting perfection of their opponents, judges, teammates? How should students take personal responsibility when they have made a mistake? How can we use the times when things went poorly, to see God's sovereign hand in the situation? Answering these questions will help put the focus on the goal of developing Godly character in our students, and in us as coaches as well.


Wednesday - 10:45 am

Becoming a Student of Your Students - presented by Dan Bobinski
If you’re tired of fighting over assignments and what you want your students to accomplish, this workshop is for you. This session, presented by a homeschooling dad and Certified Behavioral Analyst, shows you how different behavioral styles and cognitive styles combine to create unique learning styles. After understanding the four behavioral styles and the four cognitive styles, you’ll learn specific things you can do to keep your students motivated, engaged, and on track.


Wednesday - 11:30 am

Wrap-up - presented by the STOA Board