Dobie Jordan Swing
2022 — Fulshear, TX/US
Speech Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am looking for insightful and new analyses of a topic in OO
I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised in INFO
I want honest and truthful storytelling in INTERP
I am conflicted with Cypress Park Hs.
Individual events: I look for strong characterization, rhetorical appeals, vocal variety and inflection, expressive facial/ body movements, clear enunciation, confidence, and creative delivery.
Debate events: I look for conversational tone of voice, clear and average paced speaking (No spreading), Rhetorical appeals, strong reasoning and logic, current and credible evidence, and impactful connections.
I am the Director of Interp and Oratory/Assistant Director of Forensics at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. I did speech in high school in Texas, and I am also a thespian -- I have a BFA in acting and I was a theatre director prior to specializing in Speech and Debate.
Conflicts: Seven Lakes (TX), Wimberley (TX)
First and foremost, I am a theatre person and a speech coach by training and by trade.
Congress (As of 4/10/2023)
Don't speed through your speeches, speed matters to me. Style matters to me as well, I am looking for structured arguments with clean rhetoric that comes in a polished package. Introduce new arguments. In questioning, I look for fully answering questions while also furthering your argument. I notice posture and gestures -- and they do matter to me. Evidence should be relevant and (for the most part) recent. Evidence is pretty important to me, and outweighs clean delivery if used properly. A clean analysis will rank you up on my ballot as well. Don't yell at each other. Overall, be respectful of one another. If I don't see respect for your fellow competitors, it can be reflected on my ballot. Don't rehash arguments. An extra speech with something I have already heard that round is likely to bump you down when I go to rank. As far as PO's go, I typically start them at 4 or 5, and they will go up or down depending on how clean the round runs. A clean PO in a room full of really good speakers will likely be ranked lower on my ballot. As far as delivery goes...as it says above, I am a speech coach. Your volume, rate, diction, etc are important. Make sure you are staying engaged and talking to the chamber, not at the chamber -- I want to be able to tell that you care about what you are speaking on.
Interp (As of 3/09/2022):
I am looking for honest connection to character and to text. Blocking should be motivated by the text and make sense for the character. I look for using vocal variety to add to the text and really paint a picture. I want you to really connect and tell the story. I also look for an overall arc of the story, clear beat changes, and clear emotion. I also look for clean diction and an appropriate rate of speech. Additionally, environment should be clear and blocking should be clean. In single events, I want to see the connection to your “other” (who are you sharing this with in the context of the story). In partner events, I want to see you really connect to each other. If you play more than one character, I am looking for clear and clean differences between the characters. Overall, tell your story. Connect to character, and share that with the audience.
Public Speaking (As of 3/09/2022):
Delivery is very important to me. Be careful of overusing gestures, make sure they have a purpose and enhance what you say. I want to see you connected to sharing your speech, not simply reciting something you memorized. While I do tend to notice style before content, it is important that your content is accurate and adequately supported. The content of the speech and the way it flows is important. I also look at diction and rate of delivery. In info, I do like fun interactive visuals—but they need to enhance your speech, not be there just to fill space. Overall, I want you to be excited about your speech and to have fun delivering it.
PF (As of 1/21/22):
I try to flow pretty carefully, but please make sure you reiterate important points as they become useful to your argument.
Speed is okay, as long as I can understand you.
- Articulation matters to me. I would rather you speak a little slower and not get caught up in what you are saying.
I really look for you to answer each other’s attacks on cases, not just repeat what you have already told me if it doesn't address the opposing case.
Giving me a clear road map and sticking to it always helps.
If a team is misrepresenting evidence, make it clear to me and tell me how they are doing so.
Overall, I want you to tell me why you are right AND why they are wrong. Make sure you are backing up your claims with evidence and statistics.
For WSD I like clear argument engagement that includes thoughtful weighing and impact analysis. I prefer debates that have colonial and imperial powers recon with their history (if its germane to the topic). When it comes down to relevancy and impacts/harms, I prefer debates that show how their resolution (whether we're going for opp or prop) will benefit or improve black and brown communities, or the global south.
Interp overall: I pay real close attention to the introduction of each piece, I look for the lens of analysis and the central thesis that will be advanced during the interpretation of literature. When the performance is happening, I'm checking to see if they have dug down deep enough into an understanding of their literature through that intro and have given me a way to contextualize the events that are happening during the performance
POI: I look for clean transitions and characterization (if doing multiple voices)
DI: I look for the small human elements that come from acting. Big and loud gestures are not always the way to convey the point, sometimes something smaller gets the point more powerfully.
HI: I'm not a good HI judge, please do not let me judge you in HI. I don't like the event and I do my best to avoid judging it. If that fails, I look for clean character transitions, distinct voices, and strong energy in the movements. Please don't be racist/homophobic in your humor.
INFO: I'm looking for a well research speech that has a strong message to deliver. Regardless of the genre of info you're presenting, I think that showing you've been exhaustive with your understanding is a good way to win my ballot. I'm not wow'd by flashy visuals that add little substance, and I'm put off by speeches that misrepresent intellectual concepts, even unintentionally. I like speeches that have a conclusion, and if the end of your speech is "and we still don't know" then I think you might want to reassess the overall direction you are taking, with obvious exceptions being that we might literally not know something, because its still being researched (but that is a different we don't know than say, "and we don't know why people act this way :( ")
FX/DX: When I'm evaluating an extemp speech, I'm continually thinking "did they answer the question? or did they answer something that sounded similar?" So keep that in your mind. Are you directly answering the question? When you present information that could be removed without affecting the overall quality of the speech, that is a sign that there wasn't enough research done by the speaker. What I vote up in terms of content are speeches that show a depth of understanding of the topic by evaluating the wider implications that a topic has for the area/region/politics/etc.
I truly enjoy judging speech and debate events. In the 1990s, I participated in Cross Examination Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking and Original Oratory at Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio. While in high school, I competed at the TFA State Tournament (in both CX and DX) and the NFL National Tournament (in CX), as well as debate tournaments such as St. Mark's, Emory, Glenbrook South, Harvard, and the Baylor Round Robin; my CX team either broke, placed, or won at those tournaments. I attended the national high school debate institutes at American, Northwestern, and Dartmouth. I finished my high school speech and debate career with the Outstanding Distinction/Quad Ruby Degree from the NFL. Currently, I am a volunteer coach for Incarnate Word Academy and a full-time lawyer in Houston. My favorite speeches are well-organized, analytical and persuasive. Please be sure to support your argument with credible evidence or authority. A good attention getter and closing go far in my book. Try your best to finish right around the end of your time limit. Overall, I value "stuff" over "fluff," but speaking style, clarity, and mannerisms do help to put gifted speakers at the top of my ballot. Don’t be afraid to offer differing viewpoints to provide balance to your argument; that demonstrates an intellectual appreciation of nuance. I view judging as a community service and am always available for comments after your round. Best of luck.
I need content warnings for SA or self harm.
Hi I'm Tofunmi (she/her), I competed in several years of middle school and high school speech (DI, POI, INFO, OO,,,, the list goes on but I basically did everything). HOWEVER, I don't have that much debate experience so go easy on me. I have zero tolerance for rude competitors. Be sure to use people's preferred pronouns, and overall, be respectful. I will be docking points if I see rude behavior from competitors. Debate should be a safe space, so if you have any concerns, please contact me.
Boards aren't necessary in info, but unless you're not using boards because that is what works best for your piece, for example, the ASL piece at 2021 nationals, I prefer pieces with boards
Make sure your speech is well structured and easy to follow through
Make sure you have speed, tone, and pitch variety throughout your speech
I love subtlety of emotion in interp events (except HI ofc)
I like to see binder craft in POI
Not always the biggest fan of HI. Don't be gimmicky. Any racism/sexism/anything along the sorts automatically puts you at the bottom of the room.
In all, looking for plot and characters. Really put me in the world of your piece through blocking.
I like a good teaser with lots of energy.
I don't like acting in the introductions. That should be the real. Showcase your public speaking ability.
I don't really time unless other judges would prefer to, just do your best!
Signpost + avoid spreading super fast (you can still talk fast, but I'm going to vote off of clarity)
Have organized argumentation + explicit explanations. I'm fine with technical terms, but use them correctly (i.e use fiat or uniqueness correctly)
Have clear warrants (hows + the whys) and how it links to your claim
Whoever shows clear links to not only your claim, but your impacts and explicitly weighs those impacts will ultimately win my ballot.
I like a good AGD.
Restate topic verbatim.
Most important thing in extemp is directly answering the prompt.
Three main points preferred.
I like at least 2 sources per main point.
Do not get tangential.
Do not be stiff, but do not be too informal.
Strong organization (Intro, 3MPs, and a Conclusion that ties back to intro.)
I am the Director of Speech and Debate at Alief Elsik High School in Houston, TX. As such, I currently coach and/or oversee students competing in a wide variety of events including all speech/interp events as well as Congress and World Schools debate. My debate paradigm is better explained if you know my history in competitive debate. I was an LD debater in high school in the early 90's. I then competed in CEDA/policy debate just before the CEDA/NDT merger. I started coaching speech and debate in 2004. In terms of debate, I have coached more LD than anything else but have also had a good deal of experience with Public Forum debate. Now that I am at Elsik, we really only have WSD and Congressional Debate in terms of debate events.
When adjudicating rounds, I do my very best to intervene as little as possible. I try to base decisions solely off of the flow and want to do as little work as possible for debaters. I hate when LD debaters, in particular, attempt to run policy positions in a round and don't have a clue about how the positions function. If you run policy stuff, then you should know policy stuff. I am open to the use of policy type arguments/positions in an LD round but I want debaters to do so knowing that I expect them to know how to debate such positions. I am also open to critical arguments as long as there is a clear story being told which offers the rationale for running such arguments and how the argument is to be evaluated in round. I am not a huge fan of a microdebate on theory and I strongly encourage you to only run theoretical arguments if there is clearly some in round abuse taking place. I will obviously listen to it and even vote there if the flow dictates it but know that I will not be happy about it. In terms of speed/jargon/etc, I do have a mixed debate background and I can flow speed when it's clear. I don't judge a ton of rounds any more as I find myself usually trapped in tab rooms at tournaments so I cannot keep up the way I used to. With that said, my body language is a clear indicator of whether or not I am flowing and keeping up. I do see debate as a game in many ways, however I also take language very seriously and will never vote in favor of a position I find to be morally repugnant. Please understand that to run genocide good type arguments in front of me will almost certainly cost you the round. Other than those things, I feel that I am pretty open to allowing debaters to determine the path the rounds take. Be clear, know your stuff and justify your arguments.
The last thing I think debaters should know about me is that I deplore rude debate. There is just no room in debate for nasty, condescending behavior. I loathe snarky cross ex. There is a way to disagree, get your point across and win debate rounds without being a jerk so figure that out before you get in front of me. Perceptual dominance does not mean you have to be completely obnoxious. I will seriously dock speaker points for behavior I find rude. As a former coach of an all women's debate team, I find sexist, misogynist behavior both unacceptable and reason enough to drop a team/debater.
I feel compelled to add a section for speech/interp since I am judging way more of these events lately. I HATE HATE HATE the use of gratuitous, vulgar language in high school speech/debate rounds. In speech events in particular, I find that it is almost NEVER NECESSARY to use foul language. I am also not a huge fan of silly tech and sound fx in interp events. Not every door needs WD40...lose the squeaky doors please. I think the intro is the space where you should be in your authentic voice telling us about your piece and/or your argument - STOP OVER-INTERPING intro's. Sometimes folks think loud volume = more drama. It doesn't. Learn to play to your space. Also recognize that sometimes silence and subtlety can be your best friends. With regard to OO and INFO...I think these are public speaking events. Interpatories generally don't sit well with me. I don't mind personality and some energy but I am finding that there are some folks out here doing full on DI's in these events and that doesn't work for me very often. I am not one that requires content/trigger warnings but do understand the value of them for some folks. I am really VERY DISTURBED by able-bodied interpers playing differently-abled characters in ways that only serve as caricatures of these human beings and it's just offensive to me so be careful if you choose to do this kind of piece in front of me. Also know that although I have very strong feelings about things, I understand that there are always exceptions to the rule. Brilliant performances can certainly overcome any shortcomings I see in piece selection or interpretation choices. So best of luck.
I have been judging speech events for the past 10 years and competed as a high school student as well. As a theater teacher I am looking for engaging storytelling. Using your vocal variety, movement, diction and moments/beats to create an engaging piece. I am looking for students to really become a character in both body and vocal.
For Oratory/Info/Extemp I am looking for the same as above, convince me of your point by using solid presentation skills, and facts.
As a IE judge I look for a clean and polished performance. Good Analysis and Interpretation of characters and a powerful performance.
For Speaking events - Structure and Sources are important as well as a polished performance.
For Debate - LD I prefer a traditional format and value debate. PF I want to see clash, evidence and a clear job going down the flow to show rebuttals of arguments.
I am conflicted with Cypress Park High School
IE: I believe that whatever you can bring to your speech or performance that is unique and authentic, while drawing an audience in to be fully present with you displays a certain kind of creativity and skill to be appreciated.
Speech: Structure and content are in focus with an appreciation for originality when possible.
Interpretation: Flow of storyline, depth of character, authenticity, as well as the minute details you’ve added throughout your piece displays how much effort and thought have gone into your performance.
I like clean, clear, concise, warranted arguments and responses. Speed is not an issue as long as you are organized and coherent. Slow down if speed interferes with the flow of ideas. I think conditional arguments are abusive and cause me to intervene. Theory can be a voter if arguments are developed and applied. Generic theory arguments are a waste of time. I appreciate debaters making logical arguments that are specific to the round instead of reading prepared responses. A sense of humor is appreciated. Crystallize issues in rebuttals. Tell me how you want me to weigh arguments in the round and which arguments are voters. Use CX time to clarify issues and to establish your strategy. Flex prep is fine.
Speech - Strong analysis and organization is key. MAKE SURE YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION! I evaluate heavily on the use of evidence to back up clear, logical analysis. Communication is key - it is your job to communicate with me, not my job to work to understand you - keep this in mind and consider what structure to provide in your speech to make sure your concept and analysis can be easily followed.
Interp - I judge interp based on storytelling, characterization, and performance technique. In dramatic selections - I am looking for depth of character, honesty, realism, and believable character relationships. Make sure you have moments and aren't just presenting dialogue. Character arcs are also important and should be part of your storytelling. In humorous selections - I am looking for strong, committed acting choices with strong polish and technique. Storytelling is still hugely important - the story should be easy to understand and clearly focused. Characters are the most important. I am looking for strong characters that feel realistic and react in the moment. The comedy should drive largely from character reactions. Popping technique is also very important - should be polished and clean with distinct physical and vocal choices.