Take a Break from Post-Season Stress & Have a Laugh at these Kooky Debate Tips


With the season drawing to a close and the stress of various national tournaments bearing down on debaters across the country, we here at Debate Central wanted to lighten the mood a bit. So, we have consulted hundreds of current and former debaters, and asked for their goofiest, most “extreme” debate tips.


We don’t necessarily recommend any of these tactics (although—hey—it’s up to you), but it is fun to laugh at ourselves a bit, and recognize how far we’ll go to get the edge in an important round.



Debate has a silly side.


Check out these next-level HARDCORE debater strategies:


    • Before each round, swallow a shot glass full of olive oil to lubricate your vocal cords.


    • Take on an intense cardio training routine to increase lung capacity.



    • For the day before and throughout the tournament, avoid certain foods (like dairy) known to coat the throat.


    • Carry a dictionary, in case you need an unexpected counter-definition.


    • Brush your teeth before every round, to ensure everything is squeaky-clean and free of residue that might slow you down.


    • Color-coordinate your outfits with your partner, or even match completely.


    • Compliment your judge on something to garner his/her favor. (Editor’s Note: as a frequent judge, I gotta say, this is totally transparent. I see you, brownnosing debaters!)


    • Carry multiple outfits to the tournament, and change into whichever one seems most appropriate before every round.


    • If you’re not paperless, bring way more tubs/expandos/binders/whatever than you actually need, to intimidate the other team.


    • Get to the room first and claim the best spot to establish dominance.


    • Preflow all of your arguments on re-stickable tape, so you never have to use precious time flowing them again.


    • Let your opponents overhear you talking about strategies you don’t actually plan to use.


    • Wait as long as you can to use the bathroom, so the urgency you’re feeling will compel you to speak faster.


    • Bring huge rolls of gigantic paper to flow on.


    • Refuse to tell anyone which side you prefer (such as before flipping) so they don’t know where your weaknesses are.


    • Cut uniqueness updates between every round.


    • Whatever you’re wearing when you win your first tournament is your lucky outfit, so wear it as much as possible.


Wow. We knew you were all about the debate life, but those are even more than we expected!


Remember, we’re not suggesting all of these are good ideas. This article is intended to be funny and relieve some of the stress associated with post-season competition by laughing at ourselves, not to suggest viable advice.


Do you have any crazy tactics you swear by? Leave them in the comments!


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One Response to Take a Break from Post-Season Stress & Have a Laugh at these Kooky Debate Tips

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you’re debating PF, bring tubs and wear sweater vests so everyone will think you’re a policy team. It works every time.

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