Why It’s so Hard to Win on Negative at Nationals?? And what to do about it…By: Griffith Vertican

Greetings NCFCA Debaters and Coaches,

Some years ago I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine about the difficulties of being on the negative side in team policy and what to do about it. Reflecting on that conversation and many more since I’ve put some serious thought into why affirmative teams have such a seemingly significant advantage particularly at Nationals…

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How Can We Win the Battle for Ethical Debate?

If there is one thing you can be totally confident of hearing at the end of every speech or debate round, it is that question, “how was your round?” A proverbial fly on the wall of the hangout room would assume that contriving unique conversation starters is not something speakers and debaters excel in. It would probably be right. But a more serious trend that should probably leave us all a bit uneasy is debaters responding to that question with some sort of accusation of unethical behavior from their opponent…

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Prepared and Invested in Speech and Debate

Have you had your first tournament yet?  We have.  In my region, we had some young competitors who launched right to the top of the field at this first competition of the year.  I spoke to one of the dads and asked if it was a surprise to his family that his daughter broke in multiple events - including debate - while two older, more seasoned brothers did not.  He answered, "Not to me."

"Really?" I replied.

"No.  She's been working on her speeches since last June.  The boys were still putting theirs together on the way here."

That situation is NOT uncommon.  But I can assure you that all that effort spent getting ready for the first tournament scored some BIG at-large points or check marks for those competitors that came prepared and invested in their material.

So is it too late for that?  Absolutely not...

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Experiencing The Art of Communication By: Abbey Lovett

Abbey Lovett is one of our Lasting Impact! Coaches. She will be hosting an Online Workshop Feb. 10 at 1:00 CT on Storytelling. It will be part of our Online Workshop Series- Storytelling, Illustrated Oratory/ Expository, After Dinner Speaking, and Creating your Characters. More information coming soon to sign up for the online workshops!! For now, enjoy Abbey’s article on The Art of Communication… Be sure to check out her video too!

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Novices- Where to Start in Speech and Debate – part 1

I am sure if you were to ask ten different Speech and Debate Coaches what type of Speech or Debate is good to do for a beginning student, you might get ten different answers. Of course each and every senerio is going to be unique and so here are some of my thoughts when encouraging new students to start Speech and Debate…

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Speech and Debate Club- Time and Commitment to both Advanced and Novice Members

One of the great challenges in Speech and Debate clubs - especially well-established and growing clubs - is how to make the club time valuable for both ends of the experience spectrum- advanced and beginner students.  A new family in the club knows nothing and is feeling overwhelmed and uniformed.  They need to know what the events are.  They need practice and instruction in basic skills.  They need to know what they are aiming for.  They want to grow so they can do this speech thing.   And let's face it, those kids who have competed a couple of seasons don't want to learn basic skills again.  They don't want to have the events explained to them.  They don't even want to demonstrate last year's speeches!  They want to grow themselves.    How do we find the balance here?

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Partnership Series – Part 2: Debate

Let's face it, partnership poses a whole new element when it comes to competitive speech and debate!  Some events simply require a partnership as part of the challenge of taking on those events, and my family has been blessed to have been involved in truly amazing partnerships!  Our team policy partnership forged a deep and abiding friendship that helped my daughter learn that life is really more about working with others well than anything else.  But partnerships are not to be entered into lightly, so there are several things to consider when contemplating a debate partnership:

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The Value of Summer Speech and/or Debate Camp

Tis the season… to go to camp? Fa-lala-la-la…. Wait a minute- it’s summer!  Aren’t we all on break? No one is thinking of Speech and Debate now, right? WRONG! As I was sitting in my living room last week, with some Speech and Debate friends,  I heard multiple reasons for NOT going to a Speech and/or Debate Camp…

If you must know, it was a friendly debate… And I think I won. But I didn’t just want to convince them, I wanted them to believe it!

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