Best Practices: Debate in a Funnel

Debate in a Funnel – The top-down triangle approach to debating.

 

Words like “crystallize” and “boil down” are often thrown around in Summary and Final Focus speeches. Debaters that actually cut down the information in the round are much harder to come by. Think of the first two speeches of the round, the Case and Rebuttal speeches, as laying all the main information on the table. After this point in the round, arguments should not substantially expand. This doesn’t mean you can’t bring up new evidence to refute a claim your opponents just brought up in their rebuttal. This does mean that no new major examples, arguments, responses, or areas of conflict should be brought up after the rebuttal. This is both a challenge for the first two speeches to lay all the important information on the table as well as a challenge for the later speeches to narrow the focus of the round. The funnel method works because you’re taking from the information previously presented and cutting it down to the core issues that are both essential to the resolution and essential to your side winning the debate. Specifics about how to funnel will be discussed in the sections on the Second Half, Summary, and Final Focus.

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