Shawn Nix ParadigmLast changed 4/25 4:24P EDT
I have judged debate since 2001. Since 2014, I have coached Public Forum and Speech events and am the current Co-Director of Speech and Debate at Cary Academy in North Carolina.
DEBATE: In debate (LD/PF) I look for clear claims, evidence and links to logical, clear impacts. I flow each round and look for you to bring your arguments through the round, tell me the clash and how I should weigh the round. Speed speaking isn't real world and I won't flow what I have to work too hard to follow. Asking for evidence for common sense issues won't count either. I look for logical links to impact, clear organized argumentation that tells me how to vote. You can use flow jargon, but tell me why. You want me to flow across the round? cross apply? for instance, tell me why. Secondly, don't exaggerate your evidence, I used to be a little more laid back about that but no more. If it is challenged and you made it up or exaggerated it, I likely won't pick you up no matter how great a speaker you are. Finally, I'm not here to show you how smart or clever I am. AND "the tech over truthers" and other silly judging paradigms doesn't make you a more articulate conveyor of ideas after you leave high school so don't look for me to do that either. I will know the topic, but judge like a lay judge. Convince me. Have fun and enjoy the activity!
For Speech events. I am always enthusiastic about great cutting and a good story in interp. I want to see differentiated characters in a setting I can imagine. In platform events, great organization is invaluable. During competition, show me you believe what you are telling me! I want legitimate solutions that are concrete and well researched. Also, platform is 50% presentaton and 50% content for me. If I can find all of the evidence and analysis for your speech on the first page of Google, you won't get first no matter how amazing you are as a presenter.
CONGRESS: Well researched unique takes on a resolution is important. Simple stock arguments and analysis is easy. I look for you to look deeper into the consequences/outcome of passage. I hate rehash, not only is it boring but it suggests you needed to listen more closely. I'll mark that against you. Refutation of previous speeches shows careful analysis in the moment and it shows you have more than your case you wrote the night before. Presentation is also important. I don't like BS for the sake of being a good presenter but a balance of solid research, thoughtful analysis, ambitious and relevant refutation from a persuasive speaker is key.