ERIC Number: ED340059
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Communication Paradigm in the Debate Process.
Waller, Dennis R.
Over the last several years the increased speed of delivery in debate tournaments has made it difficult for judges to keep up with a debate during a round of competition. The responsibility for communication should be upon each debater to deliver his or her arguments, with intelligence, to the judge or critic. Debate is an oral communication process, so fast delivery not only defeats the purpose of persuasive communication, but also works against one of the expressed goals of the CEDA (Cross Examination Debate Association)--to improve students' communication skills. Although speed is clearly used so that debaters can present more arguments than the opposing team, this practice does nothing for developing useful communication skills that focus on analysis and persuasion of an audience. It is interesting that although most judges do not favor speed in delivery, they are reluctant to reflect this in their ballots, and fast debaters are therefore continuing to win rounds. Since other debaters model the winning techniques, judges should stop rewarding those who favor a fast delivery. Four ways to improve delivery are: (1) to clarify the goals of CEDA; (2) to allow judges to penalize speed; (3) to adopt an audience-centered model for debate; and (4) to emphasize public speaking skills that are usable after the competition is over. (Twenty-six references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Debate Coaches; Debate Strategies; Debate Tournaments; Speech Rate
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).