I love the idea.Experience:
NCFCA alumnus of 5 years. I did LD and 9 different categories of speeches during my time (ironmanning Regionals with 5 speeches my last 2 years). I went to Nats in LD and speeches my last 2 years (breaking in LD). Now I do moot court and mock trial. I've been coaching LD for 3 years or so now, and I've coached over 60 individuals from 6 different states.What I'm probably going to tell you in-round:
Organization is important, because I'm going to flow a lot and I will be happy if you keep my flow organized. Give me warrants for your arguments -- don't just tell me that it's so, give me some reason why
it's so. Give me impacts: If you leave me to draw my own conclusions about how important an argument is, I will probably conclude that it is not very important.More complete LD philosophy:
LD does not mean that you can argue without any support. I want support (not necessarily evidence, but give me some reason to believe you on any issues that could be disputed). I hate definition debates, although sometimes I recognize that a definition argument is necessary. With that on the table, let me also say that if you try to define your opponent out of the round completely, your opponent doesn't even have to argue that point for me to reject it as abusing definitions. If your arguments depend on a very specific and/or sketchy definition, expect a great deal of skepticism from me.
If your opponent has subsumed your value, you will need an exceedingly persuasive justification to get me to believe that we should only look at your value (I haven't seen anyone pull it off yet). You'd be better off trying to show me that you can achieve that value better.
Speaking of which, values are important, but they're not the end-all-be-all of LD. You can lose the value/accept your opponent's value and still win. Likewise, the mere fact that I flow a value your way doesn't mean you win.
If an argument isn't particularly important, tell me why and move on. Don't tell me it isn't important and then proceed to spend a great deal of time talking about it.
Alternative weighing mechanisms are ok, but you need to explain them clearly to me and be able to defend them well.
I hate debate jargon, and I hate
speed. I may be the only one of the alumni judges who will tell you this, but slow down and speak to me like I'm a normal human being. You wouldn't speed-read complex legal arguments to a jury. Don't do the functional equivalent of that to me.More complete TP philosophy:
I am an LDer at heart. Thus, have pity on me and explain all your TP concepts to me. I've seen several policy rounds that I've just been completely confused by. Trust me, you don't want that to happen.
Assume I know nothing about how your case connects to the resolution. That's probably a pretty safe assumption.
(One example: I watched a policy round UN year where everybody was talking about some treaty in Dubai. They never told me how that related to the UN. Don't do that.)
Give me some overarching, big-picture reasons to vote for/against Aff's plan.
I'm not a big fan of topicality, but I'm also not a big fan of grossly non-topical Aff cases. Negs that run T on clearly topical cases lose credibility points in my mind. Negs that run T against non-topical cases usually win in my mind.
Tell me how I should weigh the round. Should I use the stock issues heavily? Should I use a value-criterion system that you're going to provide? Should I use some other weighing mechanism? Give me the answers.
Don't get stuck in the weeds. Don't argue about one little piece of evidence if there's some big-picture argument that you can make. Don't get so caught up pointing out the details of each individual tree to me that you don't tell me about the whole forest.
I'll repeat my last point under LD. I hate debate jargon, and I hate
speed. I may be the only one of the alumni judges who will tell you this, but slow down and speak to me like I'm a normal human being. You wouldn't speed-read complex legal arguments to a jury. Don't do the functional equivalent of that to me.