We held four mini-debates on topicality theory this afternoon. Considering this is the first "debate" for the summer they were generally excellent.
There was consistent improvement throughout the session, especially on the technique of "embedded clash" that Kenda stressed. It's a technique that dramatically increases word economy while at the same time generating clash.
It felt good to start getting down in the trenches and working on actual debating.
Kenda: "Have impacts to your theory arguments."
Steve: "Stay on your flow."
Kenda: "You can establish control of the room with a confident assertive tone."
Steve: "Sometimes slowing down helps you speed up. Speed is effective communication per minute, not words per minute."
Kenda: "In your final speech you should be making comparative arguments."
Kenda: "I'm not a fan of the 'little a' and 'little b' ultra-substructuring."
Student comments/critiques at the end of each debate were also insightful.
Here were the match-ups:
1) Extra-topicality not a voting issue: Chris Barnett and Stefan Jiang (aff) vs. Will Sears and Sam Caporal
2) Affirmatives need only be reasonable, not best: Alec Wright and Priya Parikh (aff) vs. Kurt Woolford vs. Tylor Orme
3) Grammar outweighs debatability: Christa Neblett and Leonard Lewis (aff) vs. Michael Butera and Kate Haynal
4) Best Definition is the Most Limiting: Matt Young and James Joseph (aff) vs. Vicki Henning-Smedja and Abe Corrigan
We also had a great seminar where we established that the ideal number of plans for a resolution is 18.6.