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January 6, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

How to help your 1ar give winning speeches

I think you need to do a combination of challenging them….and

[*]Explain the 1ac to him/her. Cross-ex them. Question about the strengths and weaknesses. See if you can set up typical negative arguments. See if you can get them off their game.
[*]Let him/her read the case negative.
[*]I walked my 1ar though each and every card….he suggested ways to answer the evidence (kind of like flash card style, although he got time to read and time to think)….and then provided potentially better answers. You could repeat this process a little bit. You might even explain why the newer answers are better than the old. (note: you don’t have to provide correction each time if his/her answers are pretty decent).
[*]Let your partner go deep on your 2ac blocks. By the way, if you don’t have 2ac blocks for every argument….you aren’t putting yourself in a place to make this work. Being able to read the 2ac blocks, think about them, and then talk over what you think are the best arguments…..and also arguments you think you should be able to shadow extend.
[*]Practice debates with challenging opponents.
[*]Rebuttal re-does for his/her 1ar.

Also, the novice needs to know or have a general sense of what constitutes extending an argument.

This is a trick I used as a 1ar. This may not work for a novice, but theoretically it should.

I flowed all in black….and flowed my 1ar in red. I could circle the arguments from the 2ac I wanted to go for……and clearly see them on the flow.

As soon as the 1NR sits down….you are obviously going to huddle.
You should probably cue which arguments you need extended on each sheet of paper.

I don’t know how prep time is in high school these days (especially based on specific regions & tournaments)….but I’ll assume 8 minutes. You should assume your goals are:
1:30 for 2ac
4 to 5 minutes for 1ar
1:30 minutes for 2ar

Its certainly possible to work with other time……but this kind of time allocation kind of sets you up to be able to devote time to helping your 1ar succeed. This really emphasizes the need to have 2ac blocks that are done & are time efficient in producing both quality arguments (ideally a nice mix of offensive & defensive).

Finally, there is a rule known as the 80/20 rule which may help you prepare (also called the Pareto Principle). You should also think about the main arguments you hit….and really drill those in the preparation. This is arguments you’ve already hit and will hear again….as well as arguments that are being run by the teams on your circuit as their go to strategies.

One more thing… might have him watch a lecture on giving 1ars. And then watching really amazing 1ars in debates is helpful. I wish I could suggest a specific debate that would be easy for a novice to understand–but alas I don;t know one. If you have 1ar in the region who is very clear….and very good….you should probably have him/her watch them. Then if you both watch….you can discuss what they did well…what they could improve on.

You might think of creating a checklist of 1) the skills he will need to pick up 2) the knowledge he will need to know about strategy. And in some respects actually working as a team…getting that cohesion down… absolutely critical. That cohesion is another reason why 2ac blocks are super-super critical.

Four other quick tips:
1. Watch The speech by Scott Deatheredge at Northwestern (its about an hour long, but well worth it)
2. Read the 3NR posts about the 1ar (Affirmative Strategy) (Skill Development)
3. Read the Learn Policy Debate posts about the 1ar
4. Learn the art of argument & persuasion & logic


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