Tips for improving your points

Everyone knows in this day and age if you are averaging less than a 29.99 you are going to miss on points, so I thought we should revisit some tips for getting points with emphasis on specific speeches/points in the debate. We will go through the speeches in order starting with the 1s. For reference to clear at the Glenbrooks you and your partner would need to have as your point average a 28.6



1. 5 minutes before the round is scheduled to start you should have the email chain complete and have sent out the 1AC. Most people wait til the start time to begin this process which then takes 10 or more minutes as you didn’t type in correctly and have to do it again. Then no one has the doc and keeps insisting you wait to start for them to open it so they can read none of the evidence and at no point in the debate make an argument based on it.


2. Put some thought into your 1AC- you read it in 50% of your debates. If you end with 90 seconds left maybe you should go back and fill in some of the internal link gaps in your 5 million 2 card advantages. Your 1AC should be as close to a perfect speech as possible. The cards should be the best, tags should be clear and well worded, you should utilize structure.  Structure not only helps the judge /other team flow, it also helps you conceptualize your case. I often see 1AC’s where arguments occur out of order, i.e. there is a chain of events and the evidence is not organized in a logical progression. Sometimes key internal links will be outright omitted. Structure, and the process of establishing it, is a good way to force yourself to think through your case and prevent these sort of mishaps.


3. You should be clear and know how to pronounce the words in your 1AC. Like, all of them. You should also be able to explain these words/concepts in cross-x without needing to rely on your partner. If you know nothing about your case start by reading (I know, brutal) all the articles your 1AC cards come from. Start with main solvency articles that discuss the topic and then if you have time move on to reading royal 10.


4. Give your advantages a clear, one word title like “hegemony” or “Economy”. Use these throughout the round when you reference that page of case/want arguments to be flowed there. There are few things more annoying than a 2 minute conversation about what pages are going where and when instead of an efficient 5 second road map.


5. Just because you don’t read a plan doesn’t mean you can just read a pile of mush. For a lot of people reading a K aff means structure, organization, and strategy go right out the window. Judges still want to be able to follow the logical flow of your arguments, they still want to understand what you are saying. Presenting your information in the clearest possible way is generally always helpful.




1.Label your offcase- I get it, you think you are crafty and just put 1NC for the header of everything in the speech doc (editors note: you aren’t crafty, that’s annoying and stupid) that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t name things when you read them. Imagine you are a judge and have to watch 100 debate rounds a year, most of which are bad. Now imagine each round is extended by 5 minutes or so due to roadmap confusion as no one knows what things are called and a debate ensues before every speech “the china disad or the china advantage? By T did you mean curtail or the resolved arg on consult NATO?”. Those 5 minutes equal 500 minutes of your life, close to 10 hours. If you want good points you should try to avoid annoying judges.


2. Use 1AC labels for case pages if at all possible. The aff called their soft power advantage hegemony, you call it hegemony. Don’t make a snarky point of re-labeling it soft power every time you talk about it. If the 1AC didn’t have labels then make up your own clear ones and stick to them.


3. You never need more than 2 pages of case. Ever. Ok so the aff read 20 impact scenarios that were 2 cards each, that doesn’t mean you need 20 case pages in the 1NC each of which is 1 card. The most division you ever need is two pages- one for the 2NC to extend, one for the 1NR to extend. Otherwise its generally better to keep things on one page. Most judges don’t flow every 1AC contention on a different page to begin with (out of both laziness and the fact that most 1AC’s are horribly structured). There is no point having 4 pages of case in the 1NC that cease to be in the debate after the 2AC. More sheets means unnecessary transitions which either take time (they should) or don’t take time and so the judge/anyone watching never has any idea what page you are on when.


4. Slow down on things like CP texts, theory/T interps, alternative texts etc. In an ideal world we would be able to perfectly understand all the things you are saying, but since we don’t live in candyland adjustments need to be made. Furthermore unlike say a tag to a card, a CP text isn’t followed by something that gives the judge appropriate pen time to write it down/process what is happening. A 1NC adv cp text that has 10 planks and is delivered in 10 seconds is a recipe for the judge having no idea for the entire round what the CP does or how it solves the case.


5. Avoid repetition. When I see a 1NC that reads 4 “econ decline doesn’t cause war” cards in a row, points are going down. Repetitive arguments show a lack of either strategic planning or understanding of how debate works. They are a less bad version of double turning yourself, they show that you didn’t think through what was going in your 1NC. Why should I reward that with high points? I shouldn’t.




What does this dog have to do with speaker points? No clue, but google imaging speaker points debate turns up some funny results


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