Resources for Students

Don't understand all of these terms? Not sure where to go?

Resources for Students FAQs

Shifting your Style

Every debate, judge, debater, and motion are very different. Some motions are serious, and demand a solemn tone. Other motions are super silly. To be successful in different rounds and different circumstances, you must be able to adapt.

Your style is one of the only things you have complete control over in a debate. That is why it can be one of your most effective tools. There are a few different ways you can adjust your style depending on who, or what you are doing. 

  1. Judges

    Most of us don’t speak the same way to a teacher, as you would to a best friend, a sibling, or your parent. It is the same thing for judges. Understand, that each judge is a different person. Some judges are university students, some are parents, and some are past debaters. While it may not be the massive deciding factor in the round, a judge that finds you more appealing as a speaker will probably score you higher. 

    Former debaters and university students, typically appreciate detailed analysis. You can use more complex words, phrases, and statistics. However, when talking to a parent, they may never have never judged debate before. That means it's better to avoid debate buzz words like: comparative, nuance, impact, etc. The reason why, is you will lose your judge. Good debaters can lose to worse teams if their content is not understandable, so try to cater to the level of your judge. 

  2. Motion

    As alluded to earlier, some topics deserve a little more severity than others. A debate about super heroes can have more jokes or levity than a debate about the refugee crisis. Be aware that when debating sensitive topics, it is important to be kind or considerate of those that might be affected. Take away you personal opinions, and debate the topic. 

  3. Opponents

    There will be some rounds, where you opponents will really grate at you. This can be because they are really aggressive, or very loud, and your instinct is to do the same thing—match their aggression. However, the strongest response is to be calm, collected, and reasonable. It is always useful to be contrasting to what your opponents give you. For example, if they are being very quiet and logical, sometimes it is good to be impassioned.

Our Sponsors