Last changed on
Mon December 5, 2022 at 4:07 AM EDT
I am the head Speech, Debate, and Congress coach at Horace High School, ND.
I have a background in English, Speech, and Theatre Education.
Decorum matters, so be polite to your opponents, including in the questioning period. You can be firm in cross while being polite, but there is a line that you shouldn't cross during cross.
Make my job of flowing easy, signpost accordingly and don't rush through your contention taglines.
If you speak so fast that I can't understand your argument and flow your argument, I will have a hard time giving you the win.
I will not make links for you.
If you open your speech with a preview of what you are talking about, I expect the preview to be reflective of what you talk about. Example, if you say you are giving voters, you should give clear voters instead of just talking down the flow.
PF: PF isn't Policy. Also, I'm not sure why people keep trying to add frameworks into PF cases, but they won't play into how the round is weighed on the ballot unless both teams willingly accept the framework.
A good first neg in LD will use their time equally between attacking the Aff case and setting up the neg case; 5:30 setting up the Neg case and 1:30 attacking the Aff case is not using time equally in my eyes. The same idea goes for PF.
I like to hear the voters. Don't just say that something flows to your side though, give the rational and link it for me.
Delivery and presentation are musts for me: eye contact, conversational tone, posture, and not just reading off computer or notepad.
I will flow your argument, but I will not make the links for you unless they are incredibly obvious.
Be brave and have fun in the session; this is a social activity. I want to see students willing to get up for authorship. If no one is willing to speak or run for PO that's your cue to be a leader.
Even the second aff/ first neg can, and often should, have elements of refutation in there. For the first 2/3-3/4 of speeches, I expect to see clash, but also new arguments being brought in. This is an activity that requires not only research, but also depth of research. Don't get up there and say that the aff or neg has already brought up a point, but not explored it enough, unless you can back it up with new analysis or additional research. The last few speeches should wrap up the debate, especially if debate has been limited and you know that you are one of the last speeches.
Don't play games and try and make the PO look bad unless they have actually made a mistake. Decorum is at the heart of congressional debate and must be respected. Do not be rude or belittling to your competition; you may be the best speaker in the room, but you will lose favor quickly by not respecting your competition and the activity.
Speech number is irrelevant; however, you had better have a good reason for not speaking on each piece of legislation. Quality of speeches, quality of questions, and quality of overall interaction in the chamber is what will get you the ballot from me.