stories, cried through my favorite verse, or – the best – explained something incredibly wonderful about my favorite Person. In those rounds, both my judges and I knew that my rank came in a far second to the value of the joy I experienced through sharing my 'happy sparks.' As you’re getting into tournaments this year, don’t neglect those small, fulfilling moments that add life to your speeches."
- Come with specific questions about areas in your speech that you want feedback on. This helps to focus the coach's energies to help you, and you'll get more pertinent feedback that is useful to you.
- Always take notes on their suggestions. This helps you remember their ideas.
- If they have an idea for your speech that you don't quite agree with, discuss it with them. Maybe their idea isn't perfect, but there is still features of the speech you need to change there. Work it out to make it the best you can.
- Implement their suggestions right away. The best way to remember their ideas is to immediately re-perform the speech with the new material. You'll remember it, and you can get feedback on how well you've implemented the ideas.
- Tell them thank you. This will make them want to coach you again. Also, bring cookies.(if coach is a college student, caffeinated beverages are acceptable substitutes.)"
"When starting your speech, skip the opening quote in favor of a piece of evidence that succinctly addresses your main point. Unless the quote is unusually funny and/or pointed, it just wastes precious time and bores the judge. Another way to sound like a professional from the first few seconds is to immediately state the thesis statement for your speech – as long as you don’t begin with 'In this speech…' "
1) Always impact all your points
2) Clearly link your impacts to your point
3) Remember to show how your impact effects the round and your judge's ballot."
"For limited preparation speeches, make sure you know what the first sentence of your speech will be before you start to speak. Try to use the time when you stand up from your prep time and walk toward the judges' table to solidify in your mind what you'll say to start. This way, you will sound calm, collected, and confident from the beginning and will make a good first impression on the judges."
"Don’t lose sight of the big picture in the round. This is particularly true in the rebuttals, when the round can get messy and technical. While you should respond to all of your opponents’ most important arguments with focused, specific, and credible counterarguments, you must also show the judge why your entire position on the resolution is worth supporting. In other words, don’t lose sight of the compelling (we hope) arguments that you made at the beginning of the round, and be prepared to sell them again in your final speeches."
"Most importantly, show your judges that you know what you're talking about. Give them the history of the situation to establish your credibility and then explain the current circumstances to show that you understand the situation. After you have done this, your judges will trust you and be much more likely to accept your answer to your question as reasonable. When you can establish this rapport with the judges, they are much more likely to want to vote for you. And, SMILE!"
"Above all, keep the round clear. Signpost, go with the flow, coordinate numbering schemes with your partner, and when time is tight, don't use an opening quotation. Instead, take the first few seconds to say the one sentence point that is the big
upshot of your speech. At no point, ever, should the judge be listening to you and wondering how what you're saying now affects the flow. A clear round is easier to judge; it's also more likely to showcase your talents, and less likely to involve the kinds of frustrating miscommunications between teams that cause cross-club tensions. When practicing, ask your critiquer to
interrupt you whenever it isn't clear how what you're saying affects the round; it will be grueling, but worth it, to hold yourself to a higher standard of clarity."
All the best,
"Since I'm the Apologetics coach, my first tip will be specific to Apologetics. (sorry everyone who doesn't do Apol!) You can find lots of great resources for many of the Apologetics topics in the creeds. Using them as support for speeches would greatly improve the strength of the speeches. Many creeds address specific issues that apply directly to Apologetics topics; for example, the Athanasian Creed directly answers the question, 'What is the meaning and significance of the Trinity?'"