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The key to this last week is organization and preparation.

1. Now that you have gone through all of your negative briefs and developed great arguments, make sure that they are organized. If your binders aren’t labeled, do so now. Make sure your generic evidence is well labeled. Check your debate box for signs of wear. If you have been holding it together with duct tape all season, consider buying another box or borrowing a box from a friend who didn’t qualify.
2. Make sure you have all of your flowpads, pens, sticky notes, labels, etc. all in your box and make sure they are all working. During the first round is not the time to ask your partner if he remembered a pen or has one he can loan you.
3. Print off multiple copies of your 1AC. I recommend that you print one for the 1A, a copy for the 2A, a copy for the negative team, and a copy just in case the judge asks for one after the round.
4. Practice rounds are great at this point. See if you can get clubmates to debate neg against your affirmative case. This is especially great if you can get an audience. The audience should give you feedback on the scripted 1AC. You should also get feedback on how you are acting at the prep table during other speeches. Are you a whisperer, a pen clicker, a binder clacker, a paper shuffler, an eyebrow raiser, an eye roller? All of these detract from your professional appearance and you may not be aware you do them. Your goal is to identify one or two things you can change that will up your speaks by one or two points. Really, if you can accomplish that, you are going to do that much better during regionals.
5. And on that note, don’t try to change so much that you are too self-conscious at regionals to do well. The goal is to identify one or two areas that will give you just that bit of an edge. You can go for a couple of other items before nationals.

Good luck, great debating, and let us at Ethos know how you did.

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