Judge Adaptation

Judge Adaptation
GDI 2014 Nancy Green
Debaters’ Roles & Responsibilities
From the NCFL description of Public Forum Debate:
“PF Debate is a team event that advocates or rejects a position posed by the
resolution. The focus of the debate is a clash of ideas in a persuasive manner
that can be understood by a “lay” judge. Good debaters should display logic
and analysis. They should use evidence when needed. They should win their
case and refute that of their opponents. They should communicate effectively,
using the fundamentals of good speaking. There are no burdens on either
Debaters’ Roles & Responsibilities
From the NSDA description of Public Forum Debate:
“Both of these debaters have the primary burden of refuting the other team’s
arguments by analyzing and explaining flaws in the opponent’s position. The
debater should identify the opposition’s key arguments and attack their
legitimacy by:
- turning the analysis to the other side
- presenting evidence that destroys or reduces the opposing position
- presenting alternate causes that are not accounted for by the
opposition arguments
- exposing argument inconsistencies between the speakers or
between the opponents and their statements during crossfire “
Debaters’ Roles & Responsibilities
- Obligation to understand and know local rules and expectations
- To persuade the judge, both teams bear the responsibility to support
their positions
* Burden of Proof,
* Burden of Refutation
- Must provide a method of weighing the issues
- If you argue it, you better be able to support it
What Do You Do To Adapt To Your
Basic Audience Analysis
1. Seek Information
a. Use direct observation
b. Assess demographic information
c. Talk with the judge
d. Talk with other competitors
e. Watch their body language
f. Watch when they write things down
Basic Audience Analysis
2. Relating To A Judge/Audience
Level of Understanding -
Analysis -
1. Being oblivious to the audience
(poor understanding)
1. “Here’s how I see the issue - You should, too.”
2. Adapting to the audience’s traits
(better understanding)
3. Understanding and respecting how
the audience interprets the topic
(best understanding)
2. “B/c you’re male, you’re probably competitive
and would respond to statements about being a
winner. B/c you’re older, you may be
conservative or skeptical about change.”
3. “B/c of your experiences, you have this set of
values of way of defining yourself. I can see how
your worldview makes sense to you, and here is
how my position overlaps and resonates with
what is most meaningful to you.”
Basic Audience Analysis
3. Initial perceptions of a non-debate judge
-Probably not going to flow, so slow down
-Use less debate lingo
-Be specific with voters all through the round
-Explain why/how they should weigh the
-Big mistake to assume a woman is just a
“mom judge”
Basic Audience Analysis
4. Judges are Human
a. May have pre-conceived notions
b. Look for different things in a debate
round – have certain preferences
c. Can be scared or tired
d. Can make mistakes, can be subjective
e. They want to help you
Argumentation Strategies
1. Understand the Toulmin Model
a. Claim - the proposition or assertion an
arguer wants another to accept. Answers the
question: “So, what’s your point?”
b. Data/Grounds/Evidence - the proof or
evidence an arguer offers. Answers the
questions: “What is your proof?” or “How
come?” or “Why?”
Argumentation Strategies
1. Understand the Toulmin Model
c. Warrant - the inferential leap that connects the
claim with the grounds. The warrant is typically implicit
(unstated) and requires the listener to recognize the
underlying reasoning that makes sense of the claim in light
of the grounds. The warrant performs a “linking” function by
establishing a mental connections between the grounds
and the claim.
d. Impact - why the argument is significant
Argumentation Strategies
2. Using Evidence Strategically
a. What does evidence do for you?
b. How do you differentiate good (strong) from bad
(weak) evidence for the judge?
c. How can you use evidence strategically?
Argumentation Strategies
3. Strategically Building & Using AT’s and Blocks
a. Write the tag (claim) followed by the warrant
b. Even if you don’t read the warrant in the round, it can be useful in
prepping and for other members of your team.
c. Then include data/support: evidence card, example, analogy,
narrative, testimony
d. Write out logical (non-evidenced) answers
Argumentation Strategies
4. Approach Crossfire Strategically
a. Don’t just ask open-ended questions
b. Frame a question to highlight one of the strategies
Types of Judges
-Lay Judges: Parents/family members or random members
of the community. People with little to no experience with
-”Flay” Judges: People with some debate/public speaking
experience that are passively taking notes, but aren’t
-Flow Judges: Extremely knowledgeable judges who know
debate very well. Take very detailed notes.
Lay Judges: Part 1
-Clear speaking
-A lot of impressive-sounding evidence
-Strong delivery
-A lot of activity in the round
-Cute/funny/clever introductions
Lay Judges: Part 2
-Extremely brisk speaking pace
-Attitude of superiority
-A disheveled demeanor
-Crazy arguments
“Flay” Judges: Part 1
-Everything a lay judge likes
-Basic warranting
-More sophisticated analysis
-More aggressive behavior
-Can handle more speed than lay judges, but less
than flow judges
-Heavy refutation
“Flay” Judges: Part 2
-Everything lay judges dislike
-Empty claims
-Excessive rhetoric
Flow Judges: Part 1
-Everything lay and flay judges like
-Sophisticated warranting
-Clear and concise structure
-Extremely reputable sources (quality over
-Creative arguments
Flow Judges: Part 2
-Everything lay and flay judges dislike
-No warrants
-Weak evidence
-No refutation
-Overused arguments
Judge Demographics: Gender
-Female judges are most likely to care about
women’s rights and increased social equality
(CNN, 2012)
-Male judges are more likely to care about the
economy and war (CNN, 2012)
Judge Demographics: Age
-Older judges require slower speaking and
stronger organization
-Most important issues for the 55+
demographic are Healthcare, Social Security,
and Medicare (CNN, 2012)
Judge Demographics: Race
Across the board, the biggest political issue
amongst voters of all races for the 2012
election was a stronger economy (Smith, 2012)
Verbal Communication Strategies
- Speak loudly enough, but don’t yell
- Speak at an appropriate rate
- Enunciate clearly
- Use vocal variety (pitch, rate, volume)
- Eliminate distracting vocal characteristics
Nonverbal Communication Strategies
- Appearance matters
- Eliminate distracting mannerisms
- Have good posture
- Gesture and move naturally and purposefully
- Maintain consistent and effective eye contact
- Use appropriate facial expressions
- Demonstrate passion and enjoyment
Final Thoughts:
- Don’t be a ditz or arrogant when entering the room or
setting up
- Don’t be late! Find your room early and sit outside the
door. Don’t be loud or distracting
- Be honest! Don’t say your opponent has done or not done
things if they haven’t
- Keep road maps short
- Be confident! Don’t over apologize
- Bring your own timer! Keep track of prep and speeches

similar documents