View Full Version : How does everyone prepare for Congress?
04-10-2006, 08:38 PM
So how does one get better at Congress..because I always am 1-3 points from breaking or I am an ******* to the stupid people in the round so I never break...
Do you practice?
Research the bill?
Watch fellow debaters?
Congress Drills? (if they exist)
Attempt to flow nonsensical speeches in rounds?
or what...because I feel like someone has cursed me to always be close to breaking but never do so
04-10-2006, 09:01 PM
Well, you partially answered you're own question, there...I'd recommend toning down the ******* levels a bit. :P
Yeah, speak well, research the bill, and *PREPARE A SPEECH*.
Also. Have good presence in the room. Don't just give a speech and nod off for a hour. Stand up, ask questions, be involved in the round.
04-10-2006, 09:27 PM
Prepare a speech? I thought in Congress you shouldn't make your speech because of reiterating facts and the need to interpolate remarks about other senators arguments. I usually got some quick facts off the internet and went to a round, but can/does one practice for Congress?
04-11-2006, 01:54 PM
I find that I am more successful when I do two things:
1) Read up on every issue that may present itself in any resolution/bill that I will be debating. I read the news, read policy journals, or read anything else I can find that looks like it is from a good think-tank or other organization (ie CATO, Heritage, etc...)
2) I always make outlines. An outline is much better to use for congressional purposes, you have area to work with in which to credit other speakers and or refute other speakers, while still having the benefit of not having to memorize quotes or anything. The most important thing with an outline though is practice. You can't all of a sudden start with an outline and stand up to address the chamber and give a good speech if you haven't ever gone over that outline. You have to practice it a few times so that you don't have to constantly be looking at it as you speak, causing your legal pad to become a hindrance.
As long as I do those two things I do well. I teach that method to the novices on my squad and whatnot, and it was taught to me, so I believe it to be reliable.
But, everyone does Congress differently. There are regional differences aplenty, and with that it may depend what region you are from as to decide how you would better yourself as a Congressperson. Also, being an ******* never helps. Don't give novices deathly hard questions or be pompous, even if you are the best person in the chamber and everyone pales in comparison, being nice and being a good member of the chamber goes over well with judges.
04-11-2006, 06:12 PM
prepping: this basically consists of me going on google or lexis and searching for relevant stuff. I put it in a file folder and label it (there is a LARGE drawer of this stuff in my house, from the last four years). Then I try to read it for relevant facts and arguments, so I sort of know what I'm talking about. I usually don't write out speeches, though, since I seem to have a knack for being in chambers with people who have the same arguments as me and better precedence... I scribble down potential arguments on the text of the legislation, but I bring the research with me so that I can write outlines on the fly. My authorship speeches, when I know they're guaranteed, are perfectly scripted and moderately rehearsed; my late-cycle speeches are basically illegible scribbles on a notepad.
I'm not sure how to practice speaking and I should probably do it more... competition has always been the best practice for me.
04-11-2006, 07:33 PM
Doesn't Lexis cost money like 4 million dollars?
04-11-2006, 07:54 PM
My school pays for it so it's free for students. A lot of other schools do that too I'm pretty sure.
04-11-2006, 09:32 PM
I don't have any money and neither does my school... it's all about university friends :-)
04-11-2006, 10:28 PM
My school has Opposing Viewpoints and Lexis. it kicks ***. so much ***. I think the lexis is gone though, I usually use OV anyways
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