Junior Takes Sixth in Impromptu Speech Tournament, Qualifies for States

After winning top speaker out of the 306 public forum debaters at the Stanford invitational, junior Ashwin Vaidyanathan continued his streak within the MVLA speech and debate team last weekend at Leland High School.

Breaking from his tradition of public forum debate, Ashwin chose to participate in the impromptu speech category. Of the three students representing the combined MVLA debate team at the 400 student competition, Ashwin was the only one from Los Altos.

Ashwin competed against 63 other students in four rounds in the impromptu category, where the speakers were given a random topic and two minutes to prepare to deliver a five minute speech.

“In each round the topic [was] different,” Ashwin said. “The topics were shoes, confidence, a Walt Whitman quote and Iran’s nuclear program.”

In each preliminary round, six speakers competed against one another while a panel of three parent judges evaluated their speeches. In the final round, the remaining competitors vied for speaker points from the five judges present.

Out of the 63 speakers in the impromptu category, Ashwin ended up sixth overall. With the other competitors that finished in the top seven of their event, he will proceed to the state tournament in late April in Modesto.