The Challenges of Dealing with Young People During My Internship Program as a Volunteer Coach for the Orange Coast College Forensics Team

Dealing with young people can be very challenging especially if one does not possess effective communication skills (Plett, 2010). Young people judge others based on their ways of expression, Therefore, in order to win the hearts of students, one must use various rhetoric concepts During my internship program as a volunteer coach for the Orange Coast College Forensics Team, I was assigned to a group of young debaters who came from different areas in Southern California. As a result, they had different cultural orientations, religious beliefs, and perspectives on gender.

Hence, I was required to balance all these aspects in order to connect with them The fact that the Students participated in different events posed one of the major hurdles of my relationship with them However, I made sure that I used ethos to earn their trust. Ethos represents credibility or an ethical appeal that involves persuasion.

This means portraying a positive character and showing them that I am credible enough to coach in various speech events.

As a result, I was able to earn their trust and respect, which enabled me to communicate with them effectively. In many cases, the events were challenging, Therefore, the students required emotional stability when facing them and used pathos. Pathos involves using emotional appeal by expressing oneself through words, pictures, and body language. I always made sure that I captured their emotions in order for them to perform wellt I achieved this aspect by reminding them of the previous events where the challenges seemed impossible to win, and yet they were victorious.

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This motivated them to work even harder toward their goals and improve in their events.

Sometimes, the concepts of ethos and pathos fail to make an impact on the attitude of the students. This happened mainly when the task ahead was hard. In such a case, I always made sure that I reasoned with them regarding the best tactics that can be used in order to win against our opponents, which is logos. Logos means using inductive and deductive reasoning methods to be an effective, persuasive speaker, For instance, we analyzed the opponents’ weaknesses and strengths and discussed how we can take advantage of their weaknesses and weaken their strengths in the debate tournaments. Critical theory has been instrumental in my success with the group, When ljoined the OCC Speech Team, my first task was to understand the different aspects of the group, These included their genders, race, cultures, and religious beliefs.

This is because all these components have an impact on the performance of each individual This enabled me to learn their weaknesses and strengths, As a result, I was able to handle them individually, thereby driving them toward success in competitive forensics. When participating in various speech events, it is important to use coded language to ensure that the opponents do not understand the tactics of the group. l was able to use metonymy, synecdoche, and puns to pass messages to the group Furthermore, enthymeme played a significant role in persuading the group to keep their fighting spirit. This gave us an advantage against our opponents I used a rhetoric situation oftentimes, especially when we were preparing for a parliamentary debate. This was effective when there was urgency, when the students were unprepared, and when there were time constraints during preparation.

This afforded mental preparedness to the students. In addition, it motivated them to use the skills they learned during the situation in order to take advantage of their opponents. A mistake in one debate was a learning point for the next event. Therefore, we used the pentad concept to prepare for the upcoming events. This enabled us to identify what was done, where it was done, who did it, how it was done, and why it was done. As a result, we were able to come up with change agents. This strategy played a significant role in enabling me to increase the debate team’s level of success. What I have learned from my undergraduate rhetoric courses and currently from being a volunteer forensics coach at Orange Coast College is that many rhetorical concepts can be applied really well in forensics by putting some concepts in various speech events and analyzing various situations where rhetoric was used.


  1. Aristotle, Rubens, W. R., & Ross, W D. (2010). Rhetoric. New York: Cosimo Classics. Plett, H. F. (2010). Literary rhetoric: Concepts-structures-analyses.

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The Challenges of Dealing with Young People During My Internship Program as a Volunteer Coach for the Orange Coast College Forensics Team. (2022, Jul 15). Retrieved from

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