Last changed on
Fri March 17, 2023 at 7:13 AM PDT
Hi y'all! I am a former speech and debater for Bellarmine College Preparatory in the Coast Forensics League. I have finished my undergrad at UC Berkeley, studying Political Science and Philosophy. Although I have done speech for a majority of my four years competing in high school, I have done a year of slow Policy Debate and was a Parliamentary Debater during my senior year of high school. I am now an Interp coach at Bellarmine College Prep and a Parliamentary/Public Forum Debate and Extemp Coach at The Nueva School. These past few years, I have been running Tabrooms at Tournaments as compared to judging. And even if I have been judging, I am almost in the Speech and Congress judging pool.
The tl;dr: Be clear, concise, and kind during debate. I will listen to and vote on anything GIVEN that I understand it and it's on my flow. Spread and run arguments at your own risk. Evidence and analysis are a must, clash and weigh - treat me as a flay (flow + lay) judge.
If you want more precise information, read the event that you are competing in AND the "Overall Debate Stuff" if you are competing in a Debate.
Table of Contents for this paradigm:
1. Policy Debate
2. Parliamentary Debate
3. Public Forum Debate
4. Lincoln Douglas Debate
5. Overall Debate Stuff (Speed, Theory, K's, Extending Dropped Arguments, etc.)
6. IE's (Because I'm extra AF!) (Updated on 02/13/2019!)
For POLICY DEBATE:
I feel like I'm more policymaker oriented, although I started learning about Policy Debate from a stock issues lens, and am more than comfortable defaulting to stock issues if that's what y'all prefer. I'm really trying to see whether the plan is a good idea and something that should be passed. Offensive arguments and weighing are key to winning the debate for me. For example, even if the Neg proves to me that the plan triggers a disadvantage and a life threatening impact, if the Aff is able to minimize the impact or explain how the impact pales in comparison to the advantages the plan actually offers, I'd still feel comfortable voting Aff. If asked to evaluate the debate via stock issues, the Neg merely needs to win one stock issue to win the debate.
Evidence and analysis are absolutely crucial, and good analysis can beat bad evidence any day! Evidence and link turns are also great, but make sure that you are absolutely CLEAR about what you are arguing and incredibly explanatory about how this piece of evidence actually supports your argument.
Counterplans - They're great! Just make sure that your plan text is extremely clear. If there are planks, make sure that they are stated clearly so I can get them down on my flow! Make sure that you explain why the CP is to be preferred over the Plan - show how and explain explicitly how you solve and be sure to watch out for any double binds or links to DA's that you may bring up! Counterplans may also be non-topical.
Topicality - Yeah, it's a voting issue. It's the Negative's burden to explain the Affirmative's violation and to provide specific interpretations that the Affirmative needs to adhere to. Further, if T is run, I must evaluate whether the plan is Topical BEFORE I evaluate the rest of the debate.
I'm not too up on most arguments on this year's topic, so again, arguments need to be explained clearly and efficiently.
For PARLI DEBATE:
In Parli, I will judge the debate first in terms of the stronger arguments brought up on each side through the framework provided and debated by the AFF (PROP) and the NEG (OPP). If you win framework, I will judge the debate based on YOUR framework. However, just because you win framework, doesn't necessarily mean that you win the round. Your contentions are the main meat of the speeches and all contentions SHOULD support your framework, and should be analyzed and explained as such. If it's a Policy resolution round, I tend to judge by stock issue and DA's/Ad's (see the above Policy Debate paradigm). If a fact or value resolution round, I tend to judge through framework first before evaluating any arguments that come afterwards.
Counterplans - They're great! Just make sure that your plan text is extremely clear. If there are planks, make sure that they are stated clearly so I can get them down on my flow! Make sure that you explain why the CP is to be preferred over the Plan - show how and explain explicitly how you solve and be sure to watch out for any double binds or links to DA's that you may bring up! Counterplans may also be non-topical.
Similar to Policy, by the end of the 1 NR, I should know exactly what arguments you are going for. Voting issues in each of the rebuttals are a MUST! Crystallize the round for me and tell me exactly what I will be voting on at the end of the debate.
In regards to POO's, I do not protect the flow. It is up to YOU to POO your opponents. New arguments that are not POO'd may be factored into my decision if not properly POO'd. POO's should not be abused. Be clear to give me what exactly what the new argument/impact/evidence/etc. is.
I expect everyone to take at least 1-2 POI(s) throughout their speeches. Anything short is low key just rude, especially if your opponent gives you the opportunity to ask questions in their speech. Anything more is a time suck for you. Be strategic and timely about when and how you answer the question.
I strongly believe that PF should remain an accessible type of debate for ALL judges. While I do understand and am well versed in more faster/progressive style debate, I would prefer if you slowed down and really took the time to speak to me and not at me. Similar to Policy and Parli, I want arguments to be clearly warranted and substantiated with ample evidence. As the below section explains, I'd much rather have fewer, but more well developed arguments instead of you trying to pack the flow with 10+ arguments that are flaky and unsubstantiated at best.
For PF, I will side to using an Offense/Defense paradigm. I'm really looking for Offense on why your argument matters and really want you to weigh your case against your opponents'. Whoever wins the most arguments at the end of the round may not necessarily win the round, since I think weighing impacts and arguments matters more. Please make sure that you really impact out arguments and really give me a standard or framework to weigh your arguments on! So for example, even if the Pro team wins 3 out of 4 arguments, if the Con is able to show that the one argument that they win clearly outweighs the arguments from the Pro, I may still pick up the Con team on the ballot. WEIGH , WEIGH, WEIGH. I CAN'T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH!Really explain why your impacts and case connect with your framework. Similar to LD, if both teams agree on framework, I'd rather you focus on case debate or add an impact rather than focus on the framework debate. Though if both teams have different frameworks, give me reasons and explain why I should prefer yours over your opponents'.
The second rebuttal should both focus on responding to your opponents' refutations against your own case AND should refute your opponents' case. If you bring up dropped arguments that are not extended throughout the debate in the Final Focus speeches, I will drop those specific arguments. If it's in the Final Focus, it should be in the Final Summary, and if it's in the Final Summary, it should be in Rebuttal. I will consider an argument dropped if it is not responded to by you or your teammate after the rebuttal speeches. For more information regarding extensions, please look at the "Overall Debate Stuff" section of this paradigm.
Please use the Final Focus as a weighing mechanism of why YOUR team wins the round. I'd prefer it to be mainly summarizing your side's points and really bringing the debate to a close.
Most of all, be kind during crossfire.
For Lincoln Douglas Debate:
Similar to PF, while I did not compete in LD, I have judged a few rounds and understand the basics of this debate. I am more old-school in that I believe that LD is something that focuses more on arguing about the morality of affirming or negating the resolution. The Affirmative does not need to argue for a specific plan, rather, just needs to defend the resolution. However, I have judged a handful of fast rounds in LD and do understand more progressive argumentation from Policy Debate. I have also judged policy/plan centered LD rounds.
So there's framework debate and then we get to the main meat with contentions. With the framework debate, I'm open to essentially any Value or V/C that you want to use. If you and your opponent's Value and V/C are different, please provide me reasons why I should prefer your Value and V/C over your opponents. Weigh them against each other and explain to me why you should prefer yours over your opponent's. Please also tie your contentions that you have in the main meat of your speeches back to your Value and V/C. For example (using the anonymous sources resolution from 2018-2019), if you're Neg and your Value is democracy and your V/C is transparency because the more transparent news organizations are the more accountable they can be, your contentions should show me that in the your world, we maximize transparency, which allows for the best democracy. The best cases are ones which are able to link the Value and V/C seamlessly into their contentions.
If you win the framework debate, I will judge the debate based on YOUR framework. However, just because you win framework, doesn't necessarily mean that you win the round. Your contentions are the main meat of the speeches and all contentions SHOULD support your framework, and should be analyzed and explained as such.
If you and your opponent agree with V/C and V, move on. Don't spend extra time on stuff that you can spend elsewhere. Add an impact, add a DA, add an advantage, add a contention, etc.
By the time we get to rebuttals, I should have a decent grasp about what voting issues I will be voting on in the debate. A lot of the 1 AR should really be cleaning up the debate as a whole and weighing responses by the Neg with the Aff case. 1 NR should really spend a lot of time focusing on really summarizing the debate as a whole and should give me specific voting issues that the debate essentially boils down to. Feel free to give voting issues at the end of throughout your speech. They usually help me crystallize how I will be voting.
I usually decide the winner of the debate based on which side best persuades me of their position. While this debater is the one which usually wins the main contentions on each side of the flow, it may not be. I usually think of offense/defense when deciding debates! As a result, please WEIGH the contentions against each other, especially when we get into the rebuttal speeches. Even if you only win one contention, if you are able to effectively weigh it against your opponent's contentions, I will have no issue voting for you. Weigh, weigh, weigh - I cannot emphasize this enough!
***Here's an example of how I decided a round with the Standardized Testing resolution: The AFF's value was morality, defined as what was right and wrong and their V/C was welfare, defined as maximizing the good of all people. The NEG's framework was also morality, defined in the same was as the AFF's but their V/C was fair comparison, defined as equal opportunities regardless of background. Suppose AFF dropped framework, I would then go on to evaluate the debate under the NEG's Value and V/C. AFF had two contentions: 1. Discrimination - Standardized testing increases discrimination towards low income and minority communities, and 2. Curriculum - standardized testing forces teachers to teach outdated information and narrow curriculum thus, decreasing student exposure to social sciences and humanities. NEG had two contentions: 1. GPA Inflation is unfair - standardized testing allows for the fairest comparison between students since GPA could be inflated, and 2. Performance Measurement - the SAT accurately measured academic performance for students. Thus, in making my decision, I would first ask, how do each of the contentions best maximize fair comparison and thus, maximize morality. Then I would go down the flow and decide who won each contention. I do this by asking how each argument and responses functioned in the debate. For example, did the AFF show me that standardized testing discriminates against people of color and low-income households? Or was the NEG able to show that adequate resources devoted to these communities not only raised scores, but also ensured that these communities we better prepared for the exam? Another example, was the NEG able to prove that if colleges no longer accepted standardized testing scores, would grade inflation result in impossible comparisons between students? Or could the AFF prove that grade inflation would not occur and that there would be heavier reliance on essays and not GPA? After deciding who won which contention, I analyze the debate as a whole - Was the GPA contention outweighed by other issues throughout the debate? (ex: Even if NEG won the GPA Contention, did AFF win the other three contentions and prove that the other three contentions outweighed NEG's winning contention? Or if AFF only won one contention, did that ONE contention outweigh any of the other contentions the NEG had?) Ultimately, the winner of the debate is who BEST persuaded me of their side through each of the contentions brought forth in the debate.
I'm also totally fine with policy type arguments in an LD round. However, while I did do a year of slow Policy Debate and feel more comfortable evaluating these type of arguments, I think that Policy and LD Debate are two different events and should thus be treated as such. Unless both debaters are comfortable with running Policy Debate type arguments in round, stick to the more traditional form of debating over the morality of the resolution. If both debaters are fine running more policy type arguments, go for it!
Overall Debate Stuff:
I'm kinda stupid - write my ballot for me. It is your job to help me understand complex arguments, not the other way around. Don't expect me to understand everything if you're spreading through an argument and you can certainly not expect me to vote on an argument that I don't understand. In other words, "you do you", but if it's not on the flow or I don't understand it, I won't vote on it.
Speed - Consider me a slow lay flow judge. While I can handle medium-slow speed, I'd prefer it you just spoke in a conversational manner as if you were talking to your parents at the dinner table. If you want to run a Kritik, Counterplan, Theory, etc. go ahead and do so, just make sure that you say it in a speed I can understand it in. Remember, if you go too fast to the point where I just put my pen down and stop flowing, your arguments aren't making it on my flow and I will not vote on them. I will yell "SLOW" and "CLEAR" a maximum of three combined times in your speech if you are going too fast or I cannot hear/understand you. If you see me put my pen down and stop flowing, you have lost me completely. Moreover, try to avoid using fast debate terminology within the round. I may not be able to understand what you are saying if it all goes over my head.
Truth v. Tech - I feel like I have a very rudimentary understanding of these terms, so if you are a debater who loves running K Arguments, Theory, 10+ DA's, likes to spread a bunch, and is unwilling to adapt to a lay judge, do us both a favor and strike me. I run a very fine and nuanced line with truth v. tech. I feel like I'm slightly tech > truth, but ONLY SLIGHTLY so. I will do my absolute best to evaluate the round solely based on the flow, but I do think that there are arguments that are just bad, like (generically listing) "racism/homophobia/ageism/poverty good" or just linking everything to nuclear war. Let me illustrate this with an example:
The Neg tries to prove that an excess of immigration within the United States will result in Trump starting a nuclear war against country "x" as a diversionary tactic because he is losing his hardline immigration battle. Personally, I do not believe this will happen, but if this is the only argument left in the round and the Affirmative drops this and the Negative extends this throughout the debate, I will have no choice but to vote Neg to prevent more lives from being lost. However, if the Affirmative is able to show me that nuclear war will not occur or can effectively delink or turn the Negative's argument of nuclear war or can outweigh nuclear war (i.e. benefits of passing plan outweigh the possibility of nuclear war, which only has a close-to-zero percent chance of happening), I will be more inclined to believe that the Affirmative has won this argument based on any evidence/turn they give me, but also based on what I personally believe will happen. I will not arbitrarily insert my own beliefs into the debate, but if the debaters create a situation in which that case occurs, as with the example seen above, I will be inclined to vote for the debater that has the more true argument and the argument that makes more sense logically with me.
Tabula Rasa - As seen with the example above, I'm not Tabula Rasa. I really don't think that any judge can truly be "tab," for who am I to decide what is true? Again, I won't arbitrarily insert my beliefs into the debate, but if the debaters have an argument that I believe is "true," I will be more inclined to buy that argument unless a team convinces me otherwise. In other words, there exist arguments that I am more likely to agree with and arguments I am more likely to buy and vote on. Either way, I will evaluate the round from what I have written on the flow. Furthermore, take these examples:
The Affirmative claims that Santa Fe is the capital of California while the Negative claims that Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. In making my decision, I will side with the latter based on outside knowledge and because it is the argument I think is more "true" based on outside knowledge.
The Affirmative claims that Santa Fe is the capital of California. The Negative does not respond to this claim. While I do not think that the Affirmative's claim is true, the Negative does not respond to this argument and thus, I will consider the Affirmative's argument as valid and evaluate the round as such.
Judge Intervention - Take this as you will, but I strongly also believe that I as a judge should not arbitrarily intervene during the debate and should listen to the arguments presented in the round as brought up by the debaters. So like what I wrote under the Policy Debate part of the paradigm, go ahead and run whatever argument you want. As long as I understand it, I will put it on my flow. See "Speed" and "K's/Theory" portion of this section for more information about what arguments you should run if I'm your judge. It is ultimately a debater's job to help me understand their/his/her argument, not vice versa. Moreover, I will not weigh for you - that being said, if neither team runs arguments that I understand and neither team weighs, I will be forced to intervene.
Brief note: OK, so I get that the non interventionist approach contradicts the fact that I am more inclined to vote for an argument that I think is "true." As a judge I can promise you that I will flow what I can listen to and will evaluate the round holistically. I am an incredibly nuanced person and I think my paradigm reflects this (perhaps a little too much)...
PLEASE CLASH WITH ARGUMENTS! CLASH! CLASH! CLASH! Don't let the debate devolve into two boats sailing past each other in the night. At that point, it's completely pointless. I'd also prefer fewer well developed arguments over that of many arguments loosely tied together. Please don't brief barf or pack the flow with pointless arguments which aren't well developed. I may not include undeveloped arguments in my RFD if I deem that they are pointless or unimportant to the debate overall. Also, over the course of the debate as a whole, I would prefer fewer, but more well developed arguments, rather than a ton of arguments that go unsubstantiated.
Tag-Team CX/Flex Prep - I'm fine with this, just make sure that you're the one talking for most of the time. Your partner can't and shouldn't control your time. It is your Cross-Examination/Cross-fire after all. Same with speeches - essentially, don't have your partner be constantly interjecting you when you are speaking - you should be the one talking! If it seems as if your partner is commandeering your cross-examination or speech time, I will lower your speaks. Also totally fine with flex prep - you may use your prep time however you'd like, but since this time is not considered "official" cross-ex time, whether or not the opponent actually responds to the question is up to them. While I do not flow CX, I do pay close attention and if I look confused, I am more often thinking intensely about what you said, rather than emoting disagreement.
Roadmaps + Overviews - Please have them, and roadmaps may absolutely be off-time! I literally love/need roadmaps! They help me organize my flow make the debate/your speech a lot easier to follow! There should be a decent overview at the top of (at the minimum), each rebuttal - condense the round for me and summarize why you win each of the major arguments that comes up. Don't spend too much time on the overview, but don't ignore it.
K's and Theory - I'm not familiar with any literature at all! While you may choose to run K's or Theory (it is your round after all), I will do my very best to try and understand your argument. If I do not understand what you are saying, then I will not put it on my flow or vote on it. If you go slow, I will be more inclined to understand you and flow what you are saying. Again, not on the flow/don't understand = I won't vote on it.
Conditionality - This is fine. Though if you decide to kick anything, kick it earlier in the debate, don't wait until the 2NR unless it is strategic to do so. Please also make sure that your arguments are not contradictory - I have had to explain to teams about why running a Capitalism K on how the government perpetuates capitalism and then also running a CP where the Federal Government is the actor is ironic. In any case, kick the whichever argument is weaker and explain why Condo is good. Also, don't advocate for an unconditional position and then proceed to kick it or drop it. That would be bad.
Cross-applying - Don't just say "cross-apply my responses with Contention 1 on the Aff Case with Contention 2 on the Neg Case." This doesn't mean anything. Show me specifically how you group arguments together and explain how exactly your responses are better than your opponent's. Moreover, show me how your cross-application effectively answers their arguments - Does it de-link a disadvantage? Does it turn an argument? Does it effectively make Aff's actor in the plan powerless? Does it take out a crucial piece of evidence? What exactly does your cross-application do and how does it help you win the debate?
Dropped Arguments + Extensions - In regards to dropped contentions, subpoints, or impacts, I will personally extend all contentions, arguments, impacts, etc. that you individually tell me to extend. For all those arguments that were not extended and were dropped by the opponent, I will NOT personally extend myself. You must tell me to extend all dropped arguments or I will consider it dropped by you as well. All dropped contentions, subpoints, impacts, etc. should not be voter issues for the side that dropped it. I will drop all voter issues that were stated in the rebuttal if they were dropped by your side.
I did Interp, so my facial expressions will be turned "on" for the debate. If I like something, I will probably be nodding at you when you speak. Please do not feel intimidated if I look questioned or concerned when you speak. It does not show that you are losing the debate, nor does it show that you will be getting less speaks. However, if I seems like I am genuinely confused or have just put my pen down, you have lost me.
In regards to all debates, write the ballot for me, especially in the rebuttal speeches. Tell me why you win the round, and weigh arguments against each other!
ALSO, SIGNPOST, SIGNPOST, and SIGNPOST. The easier you make it for me to follow you in the round, the easier I can flow and be organized, and the easier you can win. Trust me, nothing's worse than when you're confused. KEEP THE ROUND CLEAN!
Don't be a jerk. It's the easiest way to lose speaker points. (Or even perhaps the round!) Good POI's/CX Q's and a good sense of humor get you higher speaks.
Links/Impacts - Be smart with this. I'm not a big fan of linking everything to nuclear war, unless you can prove to be that there is beyond a reason of a doubt that nuclear war occurs. So two things about impacts/links - the more practical and pragmatic you can make them, the better. I'm more inclined to buy well warranted and substantiated links to arguments. For example:
Plea bargaining --> incarceration --> cycle of poverty (These arguments are linked together and make logical sense. If we added "nuclear war" after "cycle of poverty," I'll just stare at you weirdly.)
Second, truth v. tech also applies with impacts and links, so if the Aff brings up a nuclear war will be caused by Trump as a diversionary tactic due to more immigration, and the Neg refutes that logically by taking out a link, I'll probably buy their argument (see the truth v. tech example I give). If the Neg doesn't respond, then the argument is valid. However, if the Neg is able to essentially group arguments and respond to them while weighing and shows me that even if they didn't answer this argument, Neg wins most everything else, I may still vote Neg.
I firmly believe that debate is not a game. It is an educational opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and to communicate efficiently between groups of people. Please don't try to make debate more complicated than it already is.
In regards to evidence in all debates: Yes, you need it - and should have a good amount of it. I know you only get 20 minutes to prep in Parli, and that you're not allowed internet prep (at some tournaments). But I need you to substantiate all claims with evidence. It doesn't have to be all subpoints and for every argument, but I will definitely be less inclined to vote for you if you only have one citation in the 19 minutes you speak, while your opponents have 7+ citations in the total 19 minutes they speak. Do not give me 7 minutes of analytics with no evidence at all. More evidence = more compelling. That being said, make sure that you also have a very strong amount of analytics as well. Don't just give me a lot of evidence without good analytics. Good analysis props up evidence and evidence supports good analysis. I would also much rather have a 4-5 good/solid pieces of evidence over 10+ trashy cards that don't help your case or add much to the debate. Essentially what I'm trying to say here is that good analysis > bad evidence any day, any round, and QUALITY > QUANTITY!!!
Do not CHEAT and make up cards, or clip cards, or anything of the like. Just don't. I will give you an automatic loss if you choose to do so. (Please don't make me do this...)
Time yourselves using whatever method you feel comfortable with! iPhone, SmartWatch, computer timer, etc. If you are taking prep, please announce it for me and your competitor to hear. Flashing or sending documents does not count as prep, though this needs to be taken care of in an expeditious manner. If you are caught abusing prep time, I will tank your speaks.
WEIGH - WEIGH - WEIGH!!! This is SO IMPORTANT, especially when debates come down to the wire. The team that does the better weighing will win the round if it's super tight! I won't weigh for you. Make my job easy and weigh. Again, as pieced together from previous parts of the paradigm, even if a team drops 3 out of the 5 arguments, if the team is able to show that the two arguments they do win outweigh the 3 arguments they lost, I will be more inclined to vote for that team that does the better weighing. I also love world comparisons, so weigh the world of the Affirmative and Negative and tell me which one is better for society, people, etc. after the implementation or non-implementation of the plan!
I will not disclose after the round (if I'm judging in the Coast Forensics League)! I usually disclose after invites though, given enough time. Either way, if you have questions about the round, please feel free to come and ask me if you aren't in round! I'll make myself visible throughout the tournament! If you can't find me, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the round! Please also feel free to contact me after the tournament regarding RFDs and comments!
Ok. Now onto my favorite events of Speech and Debate. The IE's. First, I did Interp for a lot of my years competing, specifically DI, DUO, and OI. I've also done EXPOS (INF) as well. Take the Platform Events paradigm with a grain of salt. While there are many things that you could do to get the "1" in the room, I am particularly looking at several things that put you over the top.
For Extemp (IX, DX) - I will flow your speech as thoroughly as I can. Please expect to have CITATIONS - at the minimum: news organization and date (month, day, year). An example: "According to Politico on February 13th of 2019..." If you have the author, even better - "John Smith, a columnist for Politico, writes on February 13th of 2019..." Please note that fabricating or making up citations or evidence is cheating and you will be given the lowest rank in the room and reported to Tab. You must have strong analysis within your speech. This analysis should supplement your evidence and your analysis should explain why your evidence is pertinent in answering the question. Good evidence and analysis trumps pretty delivery any day. Most importantly, make sure that you ANSWER THE QUESTION - I cannot give you a high rank if you do not answer the question.
For Impromptu (IMP) - I will flow your points as thoroughly as I can. I expect to see a thesis at the end of the intro and two to three well developed examples and points that support your thesis. While you do not have to have citations like Extemp, I would like to see specificity. Good analysis is also important and you need to make sure that your analysis ties into the thesis that you give me at the top of the intro. I also don't really like personal stories as examples and points in the Impromptu. I feel like personal stories are really generic and can always be canned. However, if done well and tied in well, personal stories do enhance the Impromptu! Use your discretion during prep time to decide if you want to use a personal story in your speech and how effective your personal story is. I also give bonus points and higher ranks to originality rather than canned speeches. Most importantly, make sure that you clearly develop your points and examples and explain why they apply to your thesis. I will default to California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) rules for Impromptu prep - 2 minutes of prep, with 5 minutes speaking - unless told otherwise by Tab/Tournament Officials.
Time signals for Impromptu and Extemp: With Extemp, I will give you time signals from 6 minutes left and down, Impromptu from 4 left and down. 30 seconds left will be indicated with a "C," 15 seconds left will be indicated with a closed "C," I will count down with my fingers for the last 10 seconds of the speech, with a fist at 7 or 5 minutes. I will show you what this looks like before you speak so you know what each signal looks like. With Impromptu prep, I will verbally announce how much prep is left: "1 minute left," "30 seconds left," "15 seconds." I will say "Time" when prep has ended. If I forget to give you time signals: 1. I fervently apologize; 2. This is probably a good thing since I was so invested in your speech or getting comments in; 3. You will NOT be responsible any time violations if you go overtime because it was my fault that you went overtime in the first place. #3 only applies if I literally forget to give you time signals; ex: I give you a time signal for 6 minutes left, but not 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1. If I forget to give you a signal for 4 minutes left, but get everything else, you're not off the hook then. I will also not stop you if you go beyond the grace period. Continue speaking until you have finished your speech.
For Original Advocacy and Original Oratory (OA/OO) - I will be primarily concerned with content. I will be looking for establishment of a clear problem (harms) and how that is plaguing us/society (inherency), and then I will be looking for a solution of some sort to address this problem (solvency). There must be some combination of these three in your speech. I will also be looking for evidence, analysis, and a strong synthesis between the two. Good speeches will have solid harms AND will explain how the solution solves their harms. Delivery should be natural, not canned or forced and facial expressions should not be over exaggerated.
For Expository Speaking/Informative Speaking (EXPOS/INF) - Again, primarily concerned with content. While Visual Aids (VAs) are important, they should serve to guide the speech, not distract me. That being said, I do enjoy interactive VAs that not only enhance the piece, but make me think about what you are saying. While puns and humor are both important, jokes should have a purpose in guiding your speech and enhancing it, and should not be included for the sole purpose of making anyone laugh. While I think that there doesn't necessarily need to be a message at the end of the speech, I should most definitely be informed of the topic that you are speaking to me about and I should've learned something new by the end of the 10 minute speech. Transitions from aspect to aspect in the speech should be clear and should not leave me confused about what you are talking about.
General Stuff for Platform Events:
1. Content > Delivery (Though I did Interp, so delivery is pretty important to me as well. Kinda like a 60-65% content, 35-40% delivery.)
What I have below is taken from Sherwin Lai's Speech Paradigm for Platform Events:
2. Projection and Enunciation are not the same as volume.
3. Repetitive vocal patterns, distracting hand gestures, robotic delivery, and unneeded micromovements will only hurt you.
4. Pacing, timing, and transitions are all important - take your time with these.
5. Natural Delivery > Forced/Exaggerated
6. Time Signals for OO, OA, and EXPOS - I am more than happy to give time signals, but since I am not required to give time signals for these events, I will not hold myself personally responsible if I forget to give signals to you or if you go overtime. It is your responsibility to have figured out time before the tournament started.
I am most well versed in DI, OI, and DUO, but as a coach, I've worked with DI, OI, HI, POI, OPP, and DUO.
For Dramatic Interpretation, Dramatic Duo Interpretations, and Dramatic Original Prose and Poetry (DI, DUO, OPP) - Subtlety > Screamy, any day, any time. I'm not against screaming, but they should be during appropriate moments during the piece. Emotions should build over time. At no point should you jump from deadly quiet and calm to intense and screaming. Gradually build the emotion. Show me the tension and intensity over time. Screaming when you erupt during the climax is perfectly acceptable. Further, intensity can be shown without screaming, crying, or yelling. The quiet moments of the piece are usually the ones I find most powerful. THINK and REACT to what you are saying. Emotion should come nearly effortlessly when you "are" your piece. Don't "act" like the mom who lost her daughter in a school shooting, BE that mom! Transitions and timing are SUPER IMPORTANT, DON'T RUSH!!!
For Humorous Interpretation, Humorous Duo Interpretations, and Humorous Original Prose and Poetry (HI, DUO, OPP) - Facial expressions, characterization, and blocking take the most importance for me. I want to see each character develop once you introduce it throughout the piece. Even if the character doesn't appear all the time, or only once or twice throughout the script, I want to see that each character is engaged throughout the piece itself. Most importantly, please remember that humor without thought is gibberish. What I mean by this is that you should be thinking throughout your piece. Jokes are said for a reason - use facial expressions to really hone in on character's thought and purpose. For example, if a character A says a joke and character B doesn't get it, I should see character B's confused reaction. I will also tend to reward creative blocking and characterization. However, note that blocking should not be overly distracting.
For Programmed Oral Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, and Poetry Interpretation (POI, PRO, POE) - Regarding emotion, facial expressions, and character development, see the above text in the two paragraphs above regarding DI and HI. Personally, I place a little more emphasis on binder tech - the more creative the better! I think binder events are the synthesis of good binder tech, good script selection, and good facial expressions/emotion. Obviously, it's harder to do, since you have multiple characters in multiple parts of your speech and each have a distinct mood and personality.
For Oratorical Interpretation (OI) - Please err on the side of natural emotion over forced facial expressions. I am not a big fan when speakers try to force emotion or simply convey no emotion when speaking. Script selection is obviously a big deal in this event. Choose a speech with a promising and important message and see if you can avoid overdone speeches.
General Stuff for Interpretation Events:
A lot of this and my Interpretation paradigm is very much similar to Sherwin Lai's Speech Paradigm. He and I agree on a lot of things, including what I will write below.
1. Subtlety > Screamy - I tend to enjoy the small nuances of emotion. Build the emotion throughout, don't go from "0 to 100 real quick." Don't force emotion.
2. "Acting is reacting." - Each movement and action should have a purpose. Swaying or distracting micro-movements are bad. When one character or partner says something or does something, there should be a reaction from another character or by the other partner. Watch what is happening and react accordingly.
3. Let the eyes speak. Eyes are underutilized in Interp - I feel like everyone is so focused on facial expression and eyebrows/body language, that they forget about the eyes. Intensity can be portrayed in absolute silence.
4. If I am not laughing during your speech, it's not because it's not funny. I am just super focused on you and watching every little part of your blocking and your facial expressions.
5. Please watch body position - misplaced feet, hands, or mistimed blocking is a big no-no.
6. No blocking > bad blocking - you don't need to be doing something ALL the time. Sometimes, standing still and doing nothing is better than always doing something.
7. Use pacing and timing to your advantage.
8. Quality of cut is fair game.
9. Message of the piece - I don't think that there necessarily needs to be a super strong message to the piece itself. I'd be totally fine if the piece was literally 7 short stories that were interwoven together and each story had it's own little thing going on. I'm more concerned about the performance/technical blocking itself. That being said, if I literally do not understand what is going on in the piece, we have a big problem. Exception to this is OI.
10. THINK!!!!!!!! And do not let the energy wane!
11. Time Signals for DI, HI, DUO, OPP, POI/POE/PRO, OI - I am more than happy to give time signals, but since I am not required to give time signals for these events, I will not hold myself personally responsible if I forget to give signals to you or if you go overtime. It is your responsibility to have figured out time before the tournament started.
I have only judged Congress a handful of times, so please take what I write with a grain of salt.
In regards to speeches, I do not value speakers who speak at the beginning of a session more than those who speak towards the end, or vice versa. Opening speeches and the first couple speeches (around 2-3 on each side) afterwards should set up the main arguments as of why the chamber should be voting in favor or against the piece of legislation. After the 5th speech on each side, you should really be clashing with arguments, impacting out both evidence and analysis, and weighing arguments against each other. Rehashing arguments made by other Congressional Debaters or "throwing more evidence" as a response to arguments is unimpressive.
During cross, if you just toss around random questions that do not actually pertain to the debate, your ranks will suffer. Remember to attack ideas and engage with the speaker who just spoke - save the argumentation for the speech. If you get the other speaker to concede something and you are able to use that in your speech, ranks will go up.
Respond to the actual links or the claims themselves and convince me why your claim is stronger. I welcome direct responses and refutations to another Congressperson's arguments, though please make it clear whom you are responding to and what the argument is. For example: "Next, I would like to refute Rep. Liu's argument that this bill would disadvantage states in the Midwest."
I'm a big stickler for Parliamentary Procedure, which means that if you are a PO, mistakes will be costly. Further, if you are acting like a biased PO, favoring certain speakers or debaters over other, you will be dropped.
Also, please note that "motion" is a noun. "Move" is a verb. So it's not: "I motion to adjourn." It would be: "I move to adjourn." PO's, remember that you cannot "assume unanimous consent" - a member of the chamber must ask for unanimous consent.
Feel free to ask me any questions about the paradigm, both speech and/or debate before the round begins. Or feel free to email me questions about my paradigm at email@example.com.
If you are confused about the RFD/comments I have written for either speech and/or debate, please also feel free to contact me whenever you'd like to at the above email.
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!! GO. FIGHT. WIN.