This week we had three days of nats prep at Drew’s house. Amy wrote a nice note that should be helpful to anyone going to nationals. We spent most of our time focusing on being clever, impactful, and memorable.
Good work this week guys. Thanks Drew for letting us take over your house (and toilet paper stash), and thanks Anna for coming and being smart and insightful as usual. 🙂
The IPP cp looks good, thanks Peter. Is someone (Drew?) sending out the three generic strategies+evidence we wrote?
Do send me your revised 1ACs when you get them done; Isaiah and I would be happy to look them over one more time before nats!
Isaiah and I are going to try to come to nationals. But we won’t be able to watch all of you at once, so here are the top 10 things Region IXers should remember to do at nationals (aside from all the stuff you already do like being awesome/knowing your ev/using your brains):
1. You’re smarter about Russia than your average judge…Don’t forget to explain things that seem “duh” to you because you’ve been debating Russia all year but are totally NEW to your judge (i.e. what in the world is MCP&A, what is Jackson-Vanick, who is the DoD, what is a sub-munition anyway?, etc.)
2. Topicality presses are people too…Always give analogies to explain your T presses (when in doubt, use the res. “we should have pizza for dinner” to figure it out)/examples of potential cases that could be run w/ your reasonable interpretation/impact it to the round other than “they don’t meet res so they lose” (i.e. ground loss, impossible research burden, boring round, etc)
3. If you just belieeeevveee…Believe in your case and don’t run neg arguments you don’t believe in.
4. Negative positives…Always have offense on neg (“something to believe in”/hang their hat on/get excited about voting for you because of it) like a counterplan with advantages over the aff’s, a generic pro-status quo point about keeping the reset policy headed in the right direction, etc.
5. The first may be last but they shall all be predestined to sound cool…Write your first and last sentences in prep time before you go up to speak so you begin and end with powerful punchy persausion every time.
6. Figuratively Speaking….And especially don’t forget to think up more figures of speech. Because if your speeches aren’t memorable then remember them your judges won’t. Because a speech without a figure of speech is as incomplete as a cupcake without icing and as forgettable as your birthday is to your grandma if your family has more than 5 kids. For the sake of perfecting the art of rhetoric, for the sake of sounding cleverer than you really are, for the sake of impressing that guy/gal on the other team, for the sake of giving the judge something to write on your ballot besides “good job,” for the sake of practicing sound-bites for when you’re being interviewed by CNN, and for the sake of preserving international peace for today, tomorrow, the children, the dogs and the fluffy caterpillars unbeknownstedly traipsing across cluster-munition-dud-mine-fields, just WRITE SOME CATCHY LINES DOWN for goodness’ sake!
7. 90% of persuasion is nonverbal (and 70% of statistics are made up but still true): Remember your nonverbals: while speaking: smile, keep your feet firmly planted, use the steepling power gesture, move the podium to the side; when at the table, sit up straight/lean forward and look interested, at least pretend to flow even the last speech, always look like you think you’re winning.
8. And nuclear war would only mean the end of the world…Avoid overly-academic-analyticality: Treat serious topics with appropriate gravity, if you’re talking about the potential of terrorists using nukes, make that real to the judge by talking about an entire city being vaporized in an instant, not “a harmful effect on world stability” 😛 If you’re not naturally dramatic, litotes (dryly delivered understatements) are your best friend.
9. They’re wrong and it’s so disconcerting I can’t smile! Avoid excited-debater-monotone, if you tend towards emphasizing everything in a concerned/serious tone, FORCE yourself to switch to a lighter tone when you see the 30 second sign/for your summary, and emphasize the positives/advantages of your position and try to smile while telling the judge about the better world your side provides! 😀 😀 😀
10. Sleep. tonight. like now. in the car. the night before nats. during nats. I’m serious. Don’t make me come to your hotel, read you bedtime stories and turn off the light for you. Nationals will be a super exhausting tournament and you will all need mental clarity that only sleep can provide through amazing scientific smart sounding things that your body does while it sleeps that cannot be replicated by any amount or combination of 5-hr energy/coffee/mountain dew. your partner and your sanity will thank you.
I’m proud of you guys. I honestly would not be surprised if any one of you came home with a first place trophy, but that’s not what this is about. Remember this is just another opportunity to hone your skills for the real challenges and exciting paths God has in store for you in the future. Hopefully see you guys in Massachusetts!!