003 – Strategic Negative Debating with Vance Trefethen

NOTE: Training Minds Podcast has changed to “Monument Publishing Podcast,” officially starting February 1, 2016. For now, here is a placeholder for the first episode airing January 18, 2016.

Vance Trefethen likes to compare affirmative and negative debating to the 18th century cargo ships of the Mediterranean Sea. On the affirmative side, you had cargo ships with a clear objective and straight course to Barbados. But on the negative side, you could attack the cargo ship countless ways. The negative “thinks like a pirate,” Vance says, to block the affirmative ship from arriving to Barbados.

That’s what Podcast 3: Strategic Negative Debating covers: thinking like a pirate and applying tactics that will hijack the affirmative team and their case. In this session you will discover:

  • How the negative team can be unpredictable.
  • How the negative team can win more rounds.
  • How the negative team must organize information from sourcebooks.
  • How the negative team creates evidence and sources not in sourcebooks.
  • How the negative team briefs all known cases.
  • What a generic brief is and how to stack them up.
  • Strategies for gathering flows from cases the negative team will meet.
  • The importance of pre-flowing speeches.
  • What to flow and what not to flow.
  • Advanced strategies beyond just flowing the tags of the affirmative case.
  • How to leverage your partner’s cross-examination admissions.
  • How to prioritize evidence you have in your notebook or box.
  • What a “slug” line is and how to use it.
  • The importance of little things like penmanship and consistency is to negative success.

This session was recorded live at the Institute for Excellence in Writing in 2012.


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