Catherine Goodman ParadigmLast changed 3/1 8:56A MDT
Debate: My paradigm is simple: make a solid argument, and support it with evidence. Don't try to win by criticizing the other team with minor points of order; stick to your argument, and state your entire piece of evidence so the quality of your source is clear. Flow your own argument, and make meta-arguments for how you win the debate. Weigh your criteria against the other team, and try to turn their criteria to your own if you can. If your opponent misses a card, or doesn't attack a contention, mention that -- but don't be aggressive. Style matters in debate; don't try to win by being too assertive or winning with minor technical points. Win with arguments and reason instead.
I would rather hear a slow, clear argument than a rapid argument that is hard to follow. It's fine to be confident about how your argument is flowing through, but refrain from making petty statements about the other team's method. It's unattractive and doesn't make you a better debater. Reason, clarity, cohesion, and good evidence do.
As for hitting every contention and sub-point, yes, make sure you do that. I will be flowing and keeping track, and I'll know if you missed anything. Also, make sure you follow up on an argument that hits a weak point in your opponent's argument. If they miss it, mention it again so it flows through. At the end make a big argument about how your side wins overall because of this cohesion and any arguments you were able to turn to your benefit.
Speech: Eye contact. Eye contact. Eye contact. Try not to trail words; be confident of your delivery, and move with purpose. Show some passion if appropriate but also vary your voice dynamics. Be memorable but do not do this at the expense of a cohesive, well-styled delivery.