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getting better speaks/speaker points

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What are some tips for simple ways for me to increase my speaks in round?

 

like organization, things that look cool, easier for judge, etc.

 

Probably the best way to increase your speaks is to start looking at the round as a judge instead of a debater. Lots of people will tell themselves "I'm winning this argument" because as an advocate of that argument they want to believe their own story. Stepping back and making critical decisions involves seeing the round from the other side of the table. Spend some time watching/flowing other rounds and trying to make a judgment in your own mind. That will help you make decisions in your own rounds. Eventually, you'll stop seeing individual contentions, disads, kritiks, etc. and start seeing how they all interact with each other for the big picture. When you do that, you'll start telling compelling stories and "writing the ballot" for the judge. Aside from winning more, you'll also get better speaks.

 

Beyond that, I'd say the basic advice still applies. Be clear, concise, work on word choice...don't go faster than you have the skill to pull off, or than is necessary to make your arguments (every year as a coach or labbie, I had a kid speed read something with a timer, then I read it at a just above average pace and beat his time by not stumbling so much. Try it yourself and know how and when to improve your speed.) Finally, in case this is an issue for you, BE POLITE. Being a jerk doesn't help you win rounds, and it certainly doesn't help you get good speaks. If you are the better debater or are winning the argument, being rude doesn't seal the deal and being polite while winning makes you look like a class act. And if you're losing, being rude also will just mean you go down in flames.

 

hope that helps,

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Some things I've preached for years but no one seems to believe me until THEY start judging and have to listen to incomprehensible spew:

 

1. If you have to go fast (and I know that debaters think they have to go fast a lot more often than is really necessary), start at medium speed and then ACCELERATE GRADUALLY. Start the speech at a "normal" rate, like you might use for an extemp speech. After 2-3 sentences, accelerate a bit. 2-3 sentences later, accelerate again. By about the 12th sentence you could/should be at your top speed. The judge has time to get used to your voice and get used to the pace and hasn't lost anything in the process. You'll be smoother and won't stumble around as much which means you will actually cover MORE ground and get out MORE arguments. You won't lose anything on coverage...I promise. You'll gain coverage.

 

2. GIVE A THESIS FOR YOUR OFF-CASE POSITIONS: A simple sentence will do: "The Affirmative plan inserts US influence into a sector of Sub-Saharan African society that has China considers its own; China will backlash and challenge US hegemony in Asia.".......Doing this lets the judge know where an argument is going and dramatically improves their ability to flow it. When there is no thesis and you begin with the U story or the L story, the judge has to guess at what the DA is and has to make guesses (sometimes wrong guesses) on what they should write on their flow. Keeping the judge abreast of what the argument is WILL improve your speaks.

 

3. Try to not be in the middle of an argument when the timer goes off....it creates the impression that you wanted to say more but just ran out of time. Stopping just before the timer goes off makes you look in control.

 

One of my most successful debaters ever (Rob knows who I mean) had a little catch phrase every time he finished his answers to a major position: "And that will be enough"...it worked.

 

4. DEBATE IS ACTING....ACT LIKE YOU'RE WINNING. I don't mean act like an ass, I mean act like nothing the other teams says bothers you or worries you. Face the judge when you are sitting down and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS smile.

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Have a neat tie.

Always impresses the ma and pa judge.

 

Edit: Thanks for the immature kid who gave me negative rep. Comparing I do high school competitive policy debate, I HAVE to be a "retard".

Edit 2: I love how I've gotten like 10 reps from this single post either saying "wow, that guy is immature" or "i dont get it". You have to love debate forums.

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You want "simple" ways to increase speaks? Increasing speaker points is easier said than done because what you have to do to secure better speaks is part and parcel with what you have to do to develop into a superior debater.

 

1. Be clear. If you're not enunciating, if you're slurring words, if your volume drops several notches when you read cards, if you're stuttering and tripping over words: you're losing rounds (and speaks) because of a lack of clarity. You should never be reading faster than you can think, and if you haven't reached the point where you can make answers, understand what your cards say as you read them, and/or gauge how you're allocating time (e.g., when to mark a card and move on, or when to stop explaining something) your delivery is too rapid for the skills you possess. Take the time to do the drills and know your evidence/arguments. Stop doing things like attempting to read a T violation in under 15 seconds.

 

2. Be organized. This presupposes you already have the technical skills to accurately record the round (and by this I don't mean you fill in the gaps in your flow after each speech by asking to see "everything they read"). You should have transitions between arguments; even simple ones like "next" or "and" are very helpful if you can't manage to number your arguments or transition effectively with inflections and pauses. Isolate the argument to which you are responding and give some clue as to what it is before you launch into counter-argument (e.g., "Off their number two: they claim ___; this isn't true for a couple of reasons. First..."). Just giving a number is insufficient because numbering systems get screwed up. A (very concise) summary of their argument gives your argument the context that it needs and (more importantly) gives the judge the split second needed to draw the arrow or line up the cell. The last thing you want is for a judge to be flowing straight down without making these connections. "Saving" time by not telling the judge where you are on the flow is false economy.

 

3. Be smart. You don't have to be running the most original positions or possess the best evidence, but if your typical strategy relies on things like spec arguments, 9-0 counterplans, or reverse voters: chances are you not getting top speaks. Annoying positions, no matter how sweet the time trade-off, do not endear you to judges. Also make sure you're warranting and impacting your arguments. Those thousand "voters" ("for reasons of fairness and education") you're dropping all over the flow may have seemed like a good idea as a novice, but they are seriously off-putting to experienced judging. Shadow extensions, unwarranted claims, positions that never develop beyond their original presentation: these are not only barriers to winning competitive rounds, but also to securing top speaker points. Don't try to win ballots by out-tech'ing your opponents (with cheap shots, underwarranted positions, and tricky argumentation designed to mislead); try to win ballots by transforming yourself into the smartest debater in the room with the most solid analysis.

 

Matt

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Agreed.

 

 

 

But, i have always tried to create an almost personal relationship with the judge. Bieng able to read body language like what thier facil expressions are when you are doing your overview will tell you what they want to hear and what really doesnt appeal to them.

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1. Talk slow when you're doing in-depth analysis you want carved into the judge's head- people who talk quickly in everyday life do it because they're self-conscious about how interesting they are and want to make sure everyone listens. Similiarly, I've seen a lot of debaters go 500MPH on something like Nietzsche or a very complex T grammar argument and it just makes the judge think they're not confident about their analysis.

 

2. Sit close and make eye contact- if the other team set the podium on the other side of the room, screw that; set up your own podium 3 feet in front of your judge- you want to make a persuasive impact so that when the judge is signing her ballot/awarding speaker points/voting she remembers the points YOU emphasized. This leads in to the most important point-

 

3. Rapport, Rapport, Rapport. Nate Gorelick was big on this. Do you know how many debate rounds Nate Gorelick won? Well it was a lot. Rapport means you need to watch how your judge is reacting to every argument in the round and let it influence your strategy for that position, this has essentially infinite use: maybe you're prepping for your 1AR and as the judge is listening to the 1NR position he is shaking his head and sighing- don't spend too much time on it and just re-emphasize the best 2AC answers. Maybe during your limits argument on T the judge is nodding and smiling- all other things being equal GO, FOR, T! And, specifically, what argument on T? Limits! Allow your strategy to suit the judge, even as you're speaking (often when I slow down to explain something I might harp on it more then necessary and judges mouth 'go on' to me or similiar) and your speaker points will shoot up like a rocket.

 

4. Be nice and classy. Other people have explained this, it is very important.

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The above poster makes some critical points. No matter who your judge is, if they haven't heard the argument like 100 times (Spending DA, Hegemony, Biopower, etc.) then you need to go slow on the arguments, and have really good overviews. The overviews should be prepped out, and use smaller words for certain judges and all out for others. You have to be able to read your judge, and figure out what you need to debate at.

 

I do agree with the podium thing, but do not get too close. I get loud and I often shout, so I know if I am 3 feet away the judge will be freaking out. That happened the last round I was at, actually, a guy came in late and the only seats available were right up front. Poor guy.

 

Other than that, speak eloquently, speak slow when necessary, and make good arguments. Adaption is a key component of debate.

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One thing that hasn't been touched on here is adaptation. Listen to your judge. If a judge says they don't like argument "x" - DON'T RUN IT! A judge who says "I have a high Topicality threshhold" and is forced to watch 3 T arguments in 1NC before seeing the DAs that might win the round isn't going to be generous in speaks to the Neg, win or lose. Likewise, a judge that says, "I don't like fast debate" might vote for a fast team, but they won't be seeing big numbers.

 

Speaker points are about how enjoyable the judge found the round. Tailor your arguments and style to the judge's preferences and you'll get decent speaks even if you lose...and that won't be too often.

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Judges don't care about the 1NC really. As long as the arguments they have outward dispositions against aren't in the 2NR they're happy.

 

like our 6 second aspec shell will =)

yay sketch betch =)

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I wouldn't be able to say that with a straight face (my main failing as a spec hack, apparently).

 

Advice for those attempting to increase speaker points: Don't become a spec-and-consult hack.

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"They don't spec A, that's bad - no politics links means aff always wins. Voter for fairness."

 

That's probably 2 seconds.

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Judges don't care about the 1NC really. As long as the arguments they have outward dispositions against aren't in the 2NR they're happy.
Yeah, I don't think you're right there. I care about all the speeches. You can't give one crappy and one good speech and expect good speaks from me. Likewise, a judge who hates T or K will swat the 1n hard for running them without thoughtful consideration.

 

The fact remains, if you do something the judge said not to do, you're likely getting low speaks.

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