Thank You’s: Thank the judge, opponent and your partner. Remember: “Thank you + 1”
Introduce Self & Speaker position: Say your name and what Speaker you are (PM, MG, LO, MO).
State the Topic: Say the topic exactly as it was announced.
State your Side: “Government” or “Opposition”. Explain what that means. You either agree or disagree with the topic.
*NOTE: If you are the Government team, give your definition (Def); if you are Opposition, then this is your one chance to agree or disagree with the Government’s definition.
Fact, Policy or Value: State what type of round it is and explain to the judge what that means.
Explain your Goal for the Round: What are you going to do to win? Remember: Criterion (Crit) and Weighing Mechanism (WM)
Begin your Arguments:For a “Fact” round prove the topic is true. Your arguments are called your “Contentions” (Cont).For a “Value” round explain why you value (why it is good or useful) something. In a value round you will often have to compare two things; make sure to explain why your value is “better” than the other. If there is no second thing, explain why what you value is better than “not having it”.For a “Policy” round it is a bit more complex. Go through the following steps:
Explain the problems that exist now: “Harms”
State your plan to try and fix them: “Plan”
Say why your plan works: “Solvency”
Explain that your plan is new and not already being done: “Uniqueness”
Show that your plan will actually make a real difference (Impact): “Significance”
Show good things that will come from your plan, BESIDES solving your problems: “Advantages”
Be careful that your plan does not make BIGGER problems than the ones you fix: “Disadvantages”
Repeat your Partners arguments! Remember: “Dead Argument”
“Off-Case”: Both teams, AFTER the first Government speech make sure to use “Off-Case” (saying why the other side is not correct).
“VOTERS”: On your team’s final speech, give “Voters” (Reasons for the judge to pick you).
Use a Flow Chart!
Listen to your Partners & Opponents arguments. Write them down using Short-Hand (1, 2, 3, 4 or maybe 5 words).
Remember to use some P.O.I.s (Points of information) during your opponent’s speech. Make sure to be smart in taking P.O.I.s!
Remember this is a battle for Respect and Control.
Delivery does matter!
The quality of your arguments matters more than anything else. Good logic, examples and IMPACTS win rounds!
Be respectful, speak well, use “High Level Thinking” and “Ripples” to win your debate rounds!
Remember to “Weigh-out” arguments (explain why yours matter more). You don’t have to win every argument to win a debate round!
Again, do not forget: IMPACTS lead to VOTERS, one of the key way to win a debate round!
Have fun! Two of the most important goals of debate are: to learn skills to make the world a better place and to have fun while doing it.
The more you read before the tournament, the better. Focus on local issues and major current events.
Watching the news and listening to informative radio, are also excellent ways to prepare.
Good sources are: The NY Times, the Economist, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, BBC, PBS, NPR and KQED. Just to name a few of the many wonderful sources available to you.
Practice with your partner, family, friends, classmates or by yourself!
Pick a topic and prepare both sides (gov/opp).
Pick an argument and use “Ripples” to explain why/how it matters (i.e. We need rules).
Pick an argument and use a “Story” to show why/how it matters (i.e. Sleep is important).
Practice “Short-Hand” verbally (i.e. Research shows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it jump-starts your brain and gives it the needed resources to function effectively. Breakfast = effective brain).
Talk with your partner and have your parents communicate with theirs, to make sure you are ready!