More Deliberation on NCFCA Debate Resolutions by: Kristi Eskelund

I’ve watched the webinars and listened to some initial discussion beyond the white papers for each of the proposed NCFCA debate resolutions.  As typically happens with me, the more I think about and talk about these proposed resolutions, the more I like them, the more depth I see for research and learning, the more value I see in having developed ideas about these topics.  This, actually IS the reason to debate in the first place.  After the webinars, here’s what I think, with the caveat that this is really just me thinking out loud here, so please take it with a grain of salt:

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2020-2021 NCFCA Debate Resolution Perspectives

Have you taken a look yet at the new proposed NCFCA resolutions for 2021?  There is quite a breadth of interest represented there!! Our hope, as always, is that you explore the resolutions for yourself, or as families. Have discussions and read analysis. We are excited to be able offer different perspectives over the next few days…

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In Stillness

            I’m not good at stillness.  I’m a busybody.  I’ve always been that way.  And though I’ve certainly had periods of stillness in my life, they’ve nearly always been forced upon me:  a broken foot that stopped my summer, a snowstorm, hurricane, or power outage, a child in the ICU, orders to the middle of the desert for a son’s senior year…always an emergency or an interruption of some sort.  And here I am again….

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Help! I don’t know how to judge an Interp speech!

I am actually privy to this sentiment fairly often.  Parents mostly know what they like best when they watch interps.  They might even know why they liked it best over some other interp. But they want to know how to say that articulately to the students on the ballot.  The point of this post is NOT to tell you what should rank higher than something else but to help you identify the bits and pieces that are part of any interp…bits and pieces that you can talk about from your own perspective on your ballots, giving students bits and pieces they can actually work on after the tournament. I was recently in a club meeting where the leader asked the students to share the most helpful comment they had received on a ballot.  The students struggled to find one.  I want students to have LOTS of helpful, useable things.  Things they can take to club and say, “can someone show me how to ___________?” Or “can someone help me change ___________?”  I want things filling in those blanks for our kids!

So here goes….How DO you look at an interp speech?

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The Biggest Mistakes I See Students Make in Interp Speeches

I’ve been at this a LONG time – teaching students how to manage the interpretive speech.  It is definitely a purist endeavor that relies on the student alone to create the entire context suggested by a reduced segment of a piece of literature.  There is nothing easy about it.  When it’s done well, it really works.  As students strive to reach that mark, I find that they make the same basic mistakes along the way, and these fall into two basic categories: technical mistakes and ownership mistakes.  Let me explain….

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Kristie breaks it down – What makes cutting soooooo hard?

If you ever tried to take on the task of cutting a story of any length at all down to a ten-minute “cut” for presentation, you’ve tasted the difficulty of the effort.  It’s HARD.  The longer the story and the more you love it, the harder it is.  Why is that?  What makes cutting such a difficult undertaking, and how do you know when you’ve got it right?

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Biblical Thematic – Notebook Woes

Let's face it...the small binder required with a Biblical Thematic speech is HARD to use smoothly, creatively, and effectively! It's the reason that many skilled interpers give this event a pass. Let me challenge you to think hard about trying this event - notebook notwithstanding - for its very real academic and presentation value. To help, here are some ways to think about your binder and how it can enhance a thematic speech.

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Platform Preparation Tips for Clubs

            This week a friend called.  She needed some ideas for her club kids who are working on platforms. They’ve discussed having a thesis.  They are writing, but there is not a lot beyond that to do with those speeches during club meetings right now.  Here are the ideas I shared with her to help kids build platform skills before they have a platform speech prepared:

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How to Get the Most from your Humorous Material

            Humor is important in communication.  Knowing how to use humor opens doors that no other skill can get through, BUT humor badly done is also worse than any other communication skill when it’s botched, so it’s awfully important to your ethos as a speaker to manage your humor well and mine all of its potential.

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