I began participating in a local level debate community in my hometown in Illinois while in high school. I majored in Political Science at the United States Naval Academy and finished my International Political Economics Degree at Carthage College. I did not debate while in college, but do place an emphasis on logic and ethics. I have occasionally judged Lincoln Douglas and PF for the last two years. I currently judge for Appleton West and Appleton North.
The purpose of the speeches is to make clear and concise arguments that uphold the value and value criterion. In addition, while evidence is valuable, the most important part of the speech is to warrant your claims. Therefore, your speech should not just be evidence or straight analytics, but rather a synthesis of both to support the value and value criterion.
During the debate, I am fine with debaters spreading/speed reading as long as it is within reason and is not used abusively. If the arguments are lost during the spreading, then it will bear no impact onto the flow. In addition, if the rate off communication is not understandable, I will not flow the speech.
I find that cross examination is a time to gain clarification and understand the opponent’s arguments, not to bring up new arguments. It should not be used to read more evidence by those being examined or to become an abusive line of questioning by the examiner. Well targeted questions and decorum will net speaker points.
With a Tabula Rasa philosophy, I firmly believe that both debaters share a burden of proof and responsibility to fully explain their case. In order to win, a debater must prove that they best uphold the value and value criterion through their analysis and evidence. This may also be done by disproving the opponent’s case and impacting those arguments back to your own.