Speaker Instructions


The Speaker is an impartial participant who ensures that the debaters follow all rules and procedures.  The Speaker must be knowledgeable of rules and routines, and listen attentively to the entire debate.


A)   Team members should have their own personal name card, including the debater’s position as first, second, or third affirmative or negative speaker and place it on the table directly in front of them.
B)   The Speaker should have a timing device in order to make sure that all debaters adhere to their allotted time.  The “Order of Speaking” form attached indicates the maximum time limits. An additional person may do the timing for the Speaker.
C)   Camera crew should set up camera in an unobtrusive location with a good vantage point.
D)   The Speaker should greet the judge(s), timer and debaters prior to the debate.  The Speaker should have a list of the names of the participants for formal introductions of participants to the audience.


A)   The Speaker should stand when speaking.  The Speaker should introduce all of the participants, starting with the judge(s), debaters, timer and finally, the Speaker him/herself.
B)   To begin the debate the Speaker reads the resolution beginning with, “Be it resolved that…”
C)   The Speaker should poll of the audience to determine the audience’s support “for” or “against” the resolution and provide time for the students to record an explanation on the Debate Response Sheet.
D)  The Speaker should follow the order of speaking and announce each debater’s position and delivery mode prior to the debater speaking. “And now the first affirmative will deliver the constructive speech.”


A)   The timer should give a warning when the debater has 15 seconds left of his/her time.  Signal with a raised arm.  If time expires during cross-examination, the questioner must stop.   If time expires during the respondents answer, then the respondent may have up to 30 seconds to complete his/her answer.
D)   Heckling is behavior that interrupts and/or annoys a Speaker.  It could include asking bothersome questions, jeering or making loud sounds.  Heckling, essentially, is not waiting your turn.  A time adjustment in favor of the debater should result, as long as the heckling did not originate from the member speaking or their team member.
F)    At the end of the cross examination a five-minute break will allow the debaters to confer with team members.  The audience can jot down questions that they would like to ask the debaters at the end of the debate.  Audience members may take notes during the debate, but may not interrupt the debate.


A)  After the debate, the judge(s) should leave the room to confer and tally their scores. The Speaker should then solicit questions from the audience, as directed to any of the debaters.
B)   The Speaker should take another informal poll to determine the audience’s support for or against the resolution and allow time for a written response explaining their continued or changed position.
C)   Upon the judge(s) return, the Speaker should end questioning from the audience and recognize a judge who will convey their decision to the debaters.
D)   After the Judge renders their decision, the Speaker should thank the judge(s), debaters, timer, camera crew and the audience for their participation in the debate.

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