Bentonville West High School Speech & Debate Coach
I have been a coach and competitor in the forensics/speech/debate world for 20+ years. I specialize in speaking. Speaker points are important to me. Sloppy or disorganized speeches can cost you the round. Please don't just read to me. I want to see your speaking & delivery skills as much as I want to see your arguments. Make clear arguments and focus on line by line analysis. When it comes to splitting hairs for a win, I will go with the team with line by line argumentation.
Back your claims and counterclaims with solid cards. I'm an analytical thinker when it comes to debate rounds. I want to hear your claims back with more than your opinion.
I am a tab judge and willing to listen to any argument. However, don't kill a dead horse or bet your case on minuscule points. Support your claims with professional backing. Make your points clear and understandable. Make sure you link to the resolution.
I enjoy a clearly organized debate with strong signposting, road-maps, and line by line analysis. Organization is key to keep the flow tidy as well as maintaining clash throughout the round.
PLEASE DON'T SPREAD. Adapt your case structure/speaking style, to adhere to this request. I'm a speaker. I expect solid speaking skills. I can deal with fast speaking as long as you are clear. However, I'm a traditional judge. Don't spread in styles outside of CX. If you do speak quickly, make sure you're clear. If I miss your argument because your not clear, it could cost you the round.
Be sure to read arguments that have a clear link to the resolution. If I don't understand the argument itself or don't understand how it links, there is no way I can evaluate it.
You're not going to win rounds with me in cross. Just because you bring a point up in cross does not mean I will flow it. If you want it considered, bring it up in your rebuttal. Keep it professional. A true debater can give their points without sounding demeaning or disrespectful. It will cost you the round with me. Learn to disagree respectfully.
I am by no means a lay judge, but I judge PF & WSD rounds as if I am. Don't use debate jargon in these rounds. Speak to me as if I had never heard the word debate before. That's the design of these styles.
If you have any questions, please ask me prior to the round.
Avoid arguments that are homophobic, sexist, racist, or offensive in anyway. Be respectful to your opponent and judge. Use professional language at all time.
This is your debate so have fun with it! Best of luck to you!!