Melissa ONLINE TFA
2022 — NSDA Campus, TX/US
I.E.'s Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
LD: I am a traditional LD judge. This means the debate should be a value debate. Framework of the debate is of the utmost importance because it will force me to evaluate your impacts before the other team’s impacts and nullifies most, if not all, of the other team’s offense. The contentions should be used to demonstrate a real-world example of the framework in action. For any claim made during the entire debate (constructive and rebuttal speeches), you should have evidential support. PLEASE weigh your arguments and make it clear how I should evaluate this round and what really matters. Explain why those reasons are preferable to your opponent’s. There is no need for spreading. I can't vote on what I don't hear or can't understand. So watch rate of delivery. I do not form part of the email chain. If it's important, make sure to explain it clearly during your speeches.
CX: As a stock issues judge, I expect the affirmative team’s plan to retain all stock issues and should label them clearly during the debate. The negative needs to prove that the affirmative fails to meet at least one issue in order to win. I require both sides to provide offense. Sufficient evidence is needed for any claim made during the entire debate. All debaters must speak clearly in order for me to hear all of their points and must watch rate of delivery. I can't vote on what I don't hear or can't understand. I do not intervene, so the debaters must tell me what is important and why I should vote for them. I do not form part of an email chain since I don't want to read speeches. I want to hear them. If it's important, make sure to express it clearly.
Congress: When preparing a speech, make sure to follow standard speech outline and cite your sources. Approach legislation creatively. If you speak later on in round, do not rehash old arguments already brought up by previous representatives. Bring in new arguments to advance the debate. Also, you must clash with opponents. Don't just give your speech. It's a debate after all. Bring up points mentioned by opposing side, show your view point and not just say they are wrong or you don't agree. Give specific reasons why you don't agree and provide the evidence to prove your point. Have your speech so well prepared that you will be able to defend it during cross and not stumble during questioning. As Parliamentarian, I will make sure correct parliamentary procedure is followed.
IEs: I've judged all IEs for over 30 years for different circuits and different levels. On EXTEMPT, make sure to speak clearly avoiding excessive word crutches and cite your sources. Follow standard speech outline (including hook, intro in which the topic stated, a clear answer is given, and a preview of pts to be discussed is presented; body with pts supporting your answer to the question; and a conclusion in which the topic is restated, a clear answer is given, a review of the pts discussed is provided to tie speech together, and refer back to the hook to give a note of finality) and approach topic creatively. Make sure to actually answer the question (topic chosen) clearly and that the points discussed in the body of the speech support the answer. Use time wisely/effectively to fully develop the speech. On INTERP events, I look at who transported me into the story and kept me there. Make sure all movements (gestures, head, and other body movements) are done with purpose and should not distract from the selection being presented. Characterization is also very important to keep me in the story. Use the whole "stage" for your presentation if the event allows it. It's your performance. Entertain me! POI: You can incorporate the binder as a prop if you want. For informative, if you are using props, make sure they go with the topic and are easily handled. They don't need to be complicated. The simpler the better.
PF: Pro should advocate for the resolution’s worthiness while the Con should show the disadvantages of the resolution and why it should not be adopted. In the 1st speech, both teams should have an introduction to frame the team’s case. The summary needs to be a line by line comparison between both worlds where the differences exist and are clear and the issues need to be prioritized. Final focus needs to be a big picture concept. I will evaluate your evidence and expect you to do the research accordingly but also understand how to analyze and synthesize it. Countering back with a card is not debating. I can't vote on what I don't hear or can't understand. So watch rate of delivery. PLEASE weigh your arguments and make it clear how I should evaluate this round and what really matters. Explain why those reasons are preferable to your opponent’s.
WSD: Since arguments should be based in reality and each team is fighting on behalf of their respective worlds, the debate should show which world is more likely and/or better and how it will be actualized in the big picture rather than the individual arguments being made. Provide specific world (not just U.S.) examples to your claims. Burdens and mechanism/model should be clear. On the reply speeches, crystallize the round highlighting the main points of contention (2 or 3 key points) and tell me why your team won those points therefore winning the debate. Make sure there is clash on both sides and watch rate of delivery.
Hey! My name is Sneha Bhale (she/her) and I did 4 years of Speech and Debate at Westwood High School. I competed in extemp as my main event both locally and nationally and I did some congress.
debate events- please add me to the email chain- email@example.com
Extemp- I prioritize content over fluency. I give the 1 to whoever answers the question adequately and addresses every actor mentioned. The substructure needs to be easy to follow and your impacts need to be realistic and topical. For fluency, fluency errors should not impede my ability to understand you and humor can go a long way. As for sources, please do not make them up and try to diversify your sources (use think tanks and academic journals). As for time, I don't care a whole lot but make sure it's evenly spaced out for every point. Overall, your content should make sense and should have sources, and having humor incorporated and a conversational tone will go a long way with ranks.
PF- Treat me as a flay judge. I will flow the round and have some exposure to PF. I'm not too fond of spreading but if you speak fast, I would like a speech doc. My flow shouldn't be all over the place and easy to follow. I think weighing is extremely important as the continuation of arguments in the summary and final focus. I do not appreciate new evidence or arguments in the final focus as a last-ditch effort. I also would prefer to be added to the email chain and will call for evidence so make sure there is no paraphrasing or twisting of information. During cross-ex, please be patient and polite. Speaks will be assigned based on clarity and overall demeanor within a round. Overall, I like a clean flow, slow speaking, weighing, roadmaps, warrants, and proper evidence protocols.
Cong- The PO should know proper procedures and keep track of precedence and recency well. The PO should also ensure voting happens fairly and keep track of everything efficiently. As for the competitors, congress is a matter of participation so make sure you pay attention. Try to pay attention the whole round and ask questions. I'm not too fond of pre-prepared speeches. Speeches that follow the debate and clash go a long way. I also hate rehash and will dock points for it- please bring in new evidence. The questioning period should be respectful to all competitors. Also, do not waste your recency or precedence over filler questions or brief speeches. Overall, I like clashes in speeches, effective questioning, proper use of sources, and clear speaking. Extra points for taylor swift agds (pls do not do the bullet hole one I'm tired of it)
And most importantly, have fun with it! Debate after all is an activity first, competition second. Please let me know if I can do anything to make the round a safe place or a better experience for you.
My background is 5 years of debate for Oak Ridge High School, Texas. I've achieved Superior Distinction from NSDA and my main events are LD, PF, and Extemporaneous speaking
For LD: I am a fairly traditional judge. I like impact level debates, either on the framework level or contention level. If you're running anything off-case, especially a plan/counterplan, provide solvency. I'm not into theory level debate.
For PF: I'm a traditional judge for PF as well, and I expect both sides to heavily weigh impacts and provide solvency, especially if you're running an off-case.
Speaking Events(Extemp, OO, etc): Speak clearly and link impacts from sources into the main topic idea. Try to reflect on the points of the opposing side of your viewpoint to reflect on how your solution/resolution can better be embraced.
Tab judge. I have coached, or actively coach events, on local UIL, TFA and national circuit for over a decade. For Debate, please ask specific preference/style questions before round and in the presence of your opponent(s).
Interpretation: Very open to community standards and performer specific interpretations of literature. I try not to bring any preconceived understanding of literature into the round. I do prefer a teaser of some length before the introduction. Blocking and vocal characterization should be as distinct and clearly separate throughout performance.
INFO: I do prefer the use of a visual aid throughout the speech. Topics that are creative and challenging, or inspiring, are most intriguing and tend to separate themselves in a section. Sources are not as important in quantity, but the information should be presented in a fresh and relevant manner.
Extemporaneous: I prefer a balance of information and speech fluidity and personality. Clearly answer the question with a unified answer and give enough background/context in the introduction. Sources should be used significantly throughout the speech, but do not sacrifice a personable delivery simply to provide facts/analysis.
My name is Huy. My pronouns are he/him/his. I was an avid forensics competitor in middle and high school in the TFA, UIL, and NSDA circuits. I was a speech and interpretation competitor, so I have extensive experience in those events; I have still judged a number of debate rounds.
My critiques are not meant to tear you down. I try to write a lot for every competitor, so please use these critiques to learn and refine/apply new things to your craft.
Interpretation (Includes DI, HI, Duo, Duet, PO, PR, POI)
All forms of literature are fair game. I do allow swearing in moderation.
Memorize your piece. Plain and simple. I will mark down for looking at scripts during round/while another competitor is performing for non-binder events (and POI). Look at the binder sparingly during PO and PR.
Clarity. Enunciate--if I cannot hear you, I cannot judge you properly. Please (try to) do accents properly. Eye-contact, confidence, posture, stuttering, and et cetera is included in this criteria; I will recognize when you're doing characters and when you are doing the intro.
Introduction. Have an introduction. It's standard to do a piece in the teaser-introduction-piece format, but I do not mind as long as you have any introduction. It should be insightful and be more than a on-the-surface-level analysis.
Characterization. Have multi-dimensional character(s). I prefer realism when doing serious pieces, and caricatures when doing humorous pieces, but this is up to the competitor(s) discretion. I have seen competitors do well with caricatures in DI, and vice versa.
Blocking. This includes all forms of physical movement: morphing/melting/changing characters, hand gestures, crossing, binder tech, et cetera. Unless specified otherwise by the tournament director, I will judge under TFA rules, meaning you CAN move below the waist AND do binder tech during PO and PR. You have free range of movement for all other events, including POI. Don't overdo binder tech--I do not care how flashy a piece is if it has no substance. Given the online format, I do not encourage using the floor (i.e. lying down) for longer than 30 seconds unless necessary. For Duo and Duet under the online format, please still try to interact with your partner as much as possible.
Creativity. Do not copy online videos. I will down you automatically. Have integrity. I want to see something new and creative with your piece. Make it your own, and have fun with it.
Speaking (Includes OO, INF, IMP)
Be persuasive. That is the point of these events.
Memorize your speech. This applies for OO and INF. Plain and simple. I will mark down for looking at speeches during round/while another competitor is speaking. For IMP, please do not use an index card unless it is a novice round. Memorize your quote verbatim.
Clarity. Enunciate--if I cannot hear you, I cannot judge you properly. Eye-contact, confidence, posture, stuttering, and et cetera is included in this criteria. I love speeches with personality.
Structure. Your speech can have any sort of structure you want. Though I prefer 3-point (i.e. intro, 3 body, conclusion), I don't mind as long as there is structure. If you do not have structure, I will down you automatically.
Citations. For INF and OO, please state explicitly where you found your evidence. For INF, if you are quoting someone or an event, please state who they are or what the event was. All events must explain these citations/relate them back to the speech. Have an adequate number of sources. A speech without evidence is a human without bones--no way it can stand up.
Anecdotes. Use sparingly. I do not like speakers who overload their speeches with dramatics. Save that for DI.
Gestures. Find a good balance: do not be excessive, but don't forget to gesture. Use them in the important points you want me as a judge to focus on.
Visual Aids (VAs). Applies for INF only. They are OPTIONAL. I understand the current circumstances, so you VAs do not need to be elaborate. However, if you have words on the display, make sure it is visible on camera while tournaments are still online. I will still mark you have an obviously messy VA (i.e. pieces of paper glued to a board).
Creativity. Do not copy online videos. I will down you automatically. Have integrity. I want to see something new and creative with your speech. Make it your own, and have fun with it.
Extemporaneous (Either FX or DX)
Be persuasive. That is the point of these events.
Memorize. Plain and simple. I will mark down for looking at your prep during round/while another competitor is speaking. Please do not use an index card unless it is a novice round. Memorize your question and citations (if you quote) verbatim.
Clarity. Enunciate--if I cannot hear you, I cannot judge you properly. Eye-contact, confidence, posture, stuttering, and et cetera is included in this criteria.
Structure. Your speech can have any sort of structure you want. Though I prefer 3-point (i.e. intro, 3 body, conclusion), I don't mind as long as there is structure. If you do not have structure, I will down you automatically. Try to have a balance of sources in each point--each one should be equally important. Do not put 5 sources in the first point and have 1 in each of the other ones.
Citations. Please state explicitly where you found your evidence (e.g. Reuters on November 17, 2019). I prefer current sources, which is nothing older than ~5 years unless necessary. I do count on the number of citations and do not include repeated ones. If you are quoting someone or an event, please state who they are or what the event was. All events must explain these citations/relate them back to the speech.
Fact Check. Obviously incorrect facts will be noted.
Gestures. Find a good balance: do not be excessive, but don't forget to gesture. Use them in the important points you want me as a judge to focus on.
Creativity. Do not copy online videos. I will down you automatically. Have integrity. This includes using someone else's introduction or conclusion. I want to see something new and creative with your speech. Make it your own, and have fun with it.
Lincoln Douglass Debate
Be a good sport. Debate rounds will get heated. No name-calling/cussing.
Clarity. Enunciate--if I cannot hear you, I cannot judge you properly. I will try my best to flow, but given the online format, if I do not catch something, I may have to ask you to repeat. Speaking points will be determined by criteria that apply in Speaking paradigms above.
Run anything. Literally anything.
Time yourself. Obvious for varsity debaters, but many novices do not know.
I will disclose at my discretion if the tournament director permits.
Hello! I'm Casey, and you may have seen me in the 2020 NSDA final round of Duo! I am an alum of Hattiesburg High School (In Mississippi) and am currently a member of the Alabama Forensic Council at the University of Alabama. I've been competing since the 7th grade (so now that's 8 years of speech oh lord) and while I stuck to interp in high school, I've branched out to platform events in college so I've either competed in or seen every event out there. I don't have any super specific judging preferences, I only ask that you give it your all. If you ever have any questions about my ballot/comments or the AFC/Alabama, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to talk to you! If I've learned anything in my time as a competitor it's to have FUN while you're performing and your judges will notice. Good luck!!
-I look for well organized speeches.
-Stay active in the round.
-Remember this is a debate event. Clash!
-Be Clear and Concise.
-Consistency across all speeches is REALLY important.
Communication is key to the performance of all events. Analysis, and reasoning are essential to debate. Persuasion is also a key to the Communication. In debate I want to see clashes supported with evidence. In Oral Interp, play with my emotions. In public speaking, educate me and persuade me.
i'm basically like a flay judge, tell me what to vote for and why.
Please treat me like a lay judge. Go slow and keep it simple. :)
Don't get super technical because i don't believe that's the way pf should have to be
If a round gets muddled, i'll go for the path of least resistance.
3 min summaries mean please collapse and weigh
i dont like it when teams waste 20 extra mins in round not even looking at cards but pulling them up, so if u have to spend more than two mins trying to find called cards itll start eating into your prep - have your cards prepared
I expect to see plenty of clash. The event is called congressional DEBATE! Utilize questioning period effectively, and ask targeted questions. Analysis is the #1 priority
SPEECH: I look for confident, clear speakers who know how to sound and appear like they belong in the room. I love to see competitors that remind me how much I miss doing speech! Wow me with your content and keep my attention with your presentation.
INTERP: In addition to the above, I prefer performances that actually feel like performances, not just speeches. All interp events should create a cohesive story that slowly builds up to a memorable climax. Preference will also be given to pieces that have an important message, but I really dislike trauma porn and will rank you lower if I think you're abusing someone else's trauma.
DEBATE: I'm largely a speech judge, but I did do debate and am familiar with PF and WS. Treat me as a lay (and traditional) judge but know I'll know if you're being abusive. The best way to win my ballot is through a clear comparative and even clearer speaking.
Please give trigger warnings when necessary—it's better to be safe than sorry.
Good luck! :)
To win my ballot: Logical links and clear connections are important whether you're running a traditional or progressive case. Your argumentation skills and strategies is what your opponent is challenging, therefore; a clear, cut, concise connection is what wins the round. Listen to your opponent, (FLOW), provide impacts and know what your talking about. If you've got a few tricks up your sleeve, be sure you know how to use them.
I do not mind speed, but if you decide to spread make sure you slow down on tag-lines. Consider speaker points when spreading. I look to vote for a strong link and one's ability to prove why your case wins the round. Voters are extremely important to me so make sure you use the time in your last speech wisely.
I do my best to flow all arguments presented in the debate and rely heavily on my flow to determine the round winner. Make sure to signpost well, and please give me a roadmap of your speeches.
If you decide to do an email chain please, add me. email@example.com
Positives: politeness, confidence, well-placed humor, preparation and well executed strategies/arguments.
Negatives: rudeness and unnecessary condescending comments, pointless cross examination, skirting the issues or avoidance
Staying true to the competition rubrics.
If I can't hear you, then I can't score you. Please, speak loud and clear.
This is my seventh year in Speech and Debate. I mainly compete in TOC/TFA Public Forum. I'm a flow judge.
I guess it's not fair to say I'm tabula rasa, because I won't evaluate discriminatory or hateful arguments, but that's pretty much it. I'm not very well-versed in progressive arguments, but I will do my level best to evaluate them properly.
Ask me any questions you have before round in terms of my criteria, and I'll be happy to answer. If you work in a good Taylor Swift reference into any speech, I will give you full speaker points.
What are your stylistic preferences for extemp? How much evidence do you prefer? Any preference for virtual delivery? Prefer conversational extemp. 3 pieces of evidence. Acknowledge camera during virtual delivery! Don’t look past it.
What are your stylistic preferences for Oratory/Info? How much evidence do you prefer? Any preference for virtual delivery? Prefer conversational vs. staged and rehearsed. Make every time like it is the first time. 5-7 pieces of evidence. Speak to camera, not past it.
Any unique thoughts on teasers/introductions for Interpretation events? Make them personal to YOU! Tell me why this piece matters to you while also telling me about the piece. What qualifies you to speak on this? Why should we listen and care?
Any preferences with respect to blocking, movement, etc. in a virtual world? Do your best. That’s literally all we can do right now.
What are your thoughts on character work? Each character should be distinguishable regardless of the virtual format. Give each one a specific voice and stature.
How do you feel about author's intent and appropriateness of a piece? For example: an HI of Miracle Worker (author's intent) or a student performing mature material or using curse words (appropriateness)? Author’s intent- doesn’t bother me too much. Appropriateness is BIG for me. You’re in HIGH SCHOOL- crude sexual humor and excessive cusswords just aren’t necessary. It’s also cheap comedy IMO. If you’re that “mature” aim higher for your content.
First and foremost, best of luck to all competitors! My paradigm is simple, I always want everyone to complete the way they are most comfortable and confident. Some expectations I have across the board:
- Never be rude to opponents or judges
- Come into each round prepared
- Speak clearly
- Have a positive attitude
CX: Spreading is perfectly fine, but if you are not able to articulate well at the speed you are going then SLOW DOWN. I should still be able to understand what you are saying. I look for solvency in the aff plan. In order to prove solvency, I expect harms to be explained clearly with a strong link. The neg must prove that the aff plan does not solve for the plan OR causes more harm than good. Counterplans are acceptable, but not required.
Interp: First off, you must speak clearly and confidently. Transitions need to be obvious, more so in a virtual setting. I should be able to distinguish the difference between each character. Take pauses when necessary. Don't let the binder become a distraction. I expect the piece to flow well and come across as a seamless performance.
Extemp: My number one expectation is that speakers have a strong tone and communicate clearly and effectively. If you don't know the content, don't make it obvious. Do your best to convey the information you have and do your best to present a strong speech. If you don't know the information, please do not force it! I'd rather see a 4 minute speech full of content than a 7 minute speech full of rambling.
My name is Ram Vempati and I am a lay parent judge.
Make sure your speaking style is clear, you have your speeches memorized, and you have good tone differentiation in your voice. Make sure your speeches are engaging and that humor is welcomed when needed.
As I am a lay judge, I would like the case to be easy to understand and “lay-parent judge”-friendly. I would not prefer spreading or any progressive debating. While I may be keeping time, it is important to keep time for yourselves.
Thank you and good luck to everyone!