New Coach Quick Start Guide
Welcome! You have joined the ranks of coaches at more than 3,000 schools in the most highly regarded speech and debate Honor Society. We are so excited that you are helping shape how students prepare for college, career, and life. As a member, you have access to an amazing community of support along with resources that will help you explore what this activity has to offer.
The guides and resources on this page are designed to introduce you to competitive speech and debate, team management, and all you can do with a membership. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us. We’re here to help you!
Take the Intro to NSDA Coaching Course
- What are NSDA merit points and why are they important?
- What can I do to start the season well?
- How do I learn more about NSDA points, events, and rules?
- What is Nationals and how do students qualify?
- What are other forms of recognition through the NSDA?
- Teacher in a Box - Intro to Public Speaking
- Teacher in a Box – Public Forum Debate
- Final Round Videos
- Fundraising Guide
- Extemp Practice Questions
Access all the materials needed for a semester-long Speech 1 course.
All the resources needed to introduce Public Forum Debate to students.
Gain insight by watching the best in the nation perform in National Tournament final round videos from the archives.
Read helpful tips for fundraising for your speech and debate team!
Check out the latest practice questions for International and United States Extemp. We release a new set every month!
We connect, support, and inspire a diverse community committed to empowering students through speech and debate. Learn more about our mission and vision.
Who We Are
Our experienced staff is available to help answer all your speech and debate questions or connect you with local support.
Read an explanation of school, coach, and student memberships.
Competition Events Guide
Read overview of each event and pick up competitive tips.
About the Honor Society
Learn about earning distinction in the NSDA Honor Society.
An explanation of merit points, how to enter them, and why they matter.
Local, District, and National Tournaments
Learn the ropes with overviews of what to expect at local competition, district tournaments, and Nationals.
Learn about resources you can access as an NSDA member and where to find them.
Explore how coaches, students, and schools can earn recognition in our Honor Society.
Read an overview of the Unified Manual, which outlines the Association’s governing rules.
New Coach FAQ
Your first stop for all membership questions!
As with any specialized activity, jargon and abbreviations pervade speech and debate activities. Download this guide to learn more.
How to Start a Team
Find the resources you need to advocate for a new program.
Team Recruitment Strategies
Recruitment is necessary to build a successful program. Get the guide to building your program.
Online Team Recruitment Strategies
Recruiting looks a little different this year. As you consider how to bring in new students via an online format, use this adapted guide as a jumping off point.
Attending Your First Tournament
Tournaments are the best method for getting new students hooked on speech and debate.
How to Host a Tournament
Find the tools you need to host your first tournament.
Roles and Permissions
Brief description of the three main roles on an NSDA speech and debate team and what each group can see on their account dashboards.