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debatefighter

Speaker Points

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Hi everyone,

 

I have no clue how to get higher speaker points in round. I feel like it's so random. Is it how fast you go? How well you speak? How good your evidence is? How clear you are? I feel like so many times I'll speak better than certain people but then they do better, or I speak worse than them but I do better.

 

It just seems arbitrary. What types of things are judges looking for?

 

I guess it would help if some judges responded to this.

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

:Bow

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Where I debate, high speaker points are awarded for proficiency in speed, clarity, and level of argumentation.

 

To improve the first two, do speaking drills. I'm sure there are other novice threads about them

 

To improve the third, practice debating and in-round strategy.

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I think a lot of judges use organization as a determinant for speaks as well, so focus on managing your time well, answering every argument in order in a clean and easy-to-follow fashion.

 

 

It is totally random though because every judge is different, especially if you don't debate on the national circuit (where there is at least a small consensus on what a 27.5, etc means)

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I think a lot of judges use organization as a determinant for speaks as well, so focus on managing your time well, answering every argument in order in a clean and easy-to-follow fashion.

 

 

It is totally random though because every judge is different, especially if you don't debate on the national circuit (where there is at least a small consensus on what a 27.5, etc means)

If you have a parent judge (novice year), you have a good shot at getting a 30. If you run a K with a non-K kinda judge, expect your speaks to drop.

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If you run a K with a non-K kinda judge, expect your speaks to drop.

 

This once cost me a round when I tried getting around a non-K judge by making the free market a CP text with coercion as a separate net benefit :P cause it would have ruined our pre-made 1nc to switch from market :P. I got like a 25, my partner a 26.5, while the opponent got something like a 29 and 28 :P.

 

Also, avoid talking in your partner's CX if your partner can answer the question. Even if you can answer it better, as long as he isn't answering it in a way that could hurt you strategically, you should let your partner take the reigns during his CX. Trust me, you are more likely to lose more speaks from being a jerk and answering questions from your partner than your partner is from not answering it 100% perfectly. Of course, if your partner doesn't know the answer, then it won't be perceived as being a jerk to the judge, although it could negatively impact your partner's speaks.

Edited by Tehnikhil

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Also, avoid talking in your partner's CX if your partner can answer the question. Even if you can answer it better, as long as he isn't answering it in a way that could hurt you strategically, you should let your partner take the reigns during his CX. Trust me, you are more likely to lose more speaks from being a jerk and answering questions from your partner than your partner is from not answering it 100% perfectly.

 

Yeah. Also, try to avoid talking during your partner's speech. Its understandable if your partner's not too experienced or you're stronger than they are, but it seems like a douche move. Of course, if they're dropping something from the flow and you don't care too much about speaks, feel free to direct your partner a little. Still, it's best to let them learn.

 

Where I debate (eastern Washington) we get higher speaks for speed and clarity, argumentation, and entertainment. Though, don't try to be funny if you're not. It can come off rude.

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I was looking at this thread: http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?t=994862 not too long ago. If you find your speaks lower because of some of the things in the poll, it might be an indication for you. However, it's not definite, just a guiding point.

 

Sometimes it really depends on the judge. What a usual novice judge thinks is good might be what a usual varsity judge thinks is good, just to give an example of discrepancies. Always ask before the round about certain things judges value in a round. This is different than judge paradigms. These are things like after establishing they are fine with open cross-x asking how much tolerance they have of the other partner answering the speaker's questions. If they're not listening and won't give a flying monkey poo about cross-x, you have more liberty to answer questions. If they listen, well... cut it down. Again, this is just one example. Maybe asking if they're fine with curses before the round could help if you know you curse, as another example.

 

On speaking during a partner's cross-x or speech, there are effective ways of doing it. Sometimes it is necessary because maybe your partner doesn't actually care about debate like yourself but you're stuck with him or her. Maybe he or she won't actually learn no matter how many times the judge says it was that particular partner's fault for the loss. There are a few ways to make sure your speaks aren't lowered:

1) In cross-x, wait for your partner to fall silent for a bit. Usually it's bad if something cannot be answered in c-x because that's a concession to the other team. You could ask them to repeat the question, indicating that because your partner can't answer, you will, making sure the concession is not to the other team and still not sounding like butting into the c-x.

2) Write things for your partner during speeches. If you know your partner won't get a simple "Answer this" and it will really sound like talking during their speech, make sure you write it out. It can be troubling - I know - but then the speech won't be interrupted so badly and usually the message will come out correct. Telling it will usually mean the phrase gets screwed up.

3) If the partner is saying something wrong, make sure you have eye contact with your partner. Usually with a harder look you can tell him or her "no, you're saying it wrong" without actually calling out.

 

Speaks for me usually depend on a mixture of clarity and argumentation. Depending on how the round plays out, one can be more important than the other. If it is a simple round towards the beginning of the year where the novices don't know arguments very well, I look more towards clear speaking and developed thought rather than the technicalities. However, once it gets to a point where people can spread well and I can at least understand everything, technicalities and argumentation matter a bit more. I judge novice right now, but could judge varsity next year as I am graduating high school.

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Guest svfrey
maybe your partner doesn't actually care about debate like yourself but you're stuck with him or her. Maybe he or she won't actually learn no matter how many times the judge says it was that particular partner's fault for the loss.

 

 

bitter?

 

 

 

bitter.

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Be structured and be able to communicate that structure to the judge. There is nothing more irritating than to judge a round where it is obvious that I am the only one who knows how to flow (and everyone else is "taking notes," responding to any argument in any order that it occurs to them to answer them). Skill focus: learning to flow the round in an organized way is the most important skill to master in competitive debate.

 

Be smart. Do not run dumb arguments. While your ten second ASPEC position might may have a favorable time trade off, it is unlikely to earn you speaker points. Average arguments earn average speaks. Dumb arguments earn bad speaks. Leave the Chuck Norris CP at home. Skill focus: prepare for rounds so that you have a handful of smartly integrated strategies that you can use when you do not have case-specific positions or links.

 

Be clear. It does not matter if you are going fast or slow. If you are not articulating well, speaking loudly enough, or enunciating consonants clearly, your speaker points will suffer. Do not speak faster than you can think. With all the stuttering, hesitations and inarticulated garblings, you will not be saving any time by spreading before you really know how. Skill focus: practice speaking drills, even if you have no intention of speaking quickly.

 

Crystallize the round. Small meta-comparisons should be happening all over the flow (not just in the last speech). The more work you do making comparative analysis, the more likely the judge is to defer to your way of seeing things. This is called persuasion, and it is just as important in TOC out-rounds as it is at the layest of po-dunk tournaments. Skill focus: do not just read blocks: think. Be prepared to articulate why you are winning an argument. Most of this thinking can be done beforehand, since most responses to your positions are easily foreseen, i.e., think about what you would say to an argument and be prepared to rebut it.

 

Win rounds. The highest speaker points are almost always awarded to the winners.

 

Matt

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