Final Speeches

The final speech is your last chance to communicate your points to the judge – this is the only chance you’ll get to have the final say and convince the judge that you’ve won.

In Public Forum, the final speeches are the two final focus speeches. You only have two minutes, so it’s important to use your time optimally.

First, go for less. It’s virtually never strategic to “split the focus.” These speeches are just too short to go for multiple arguments. The speech needs to go for one core “path to the ballot” and spend the rest of the time weighing it, along with answers to the other side’s core arguments. Pick one core “voting issue” and spend the rest of the time dealing with what your opponent said.

Second, slow down! Debaters sometimes treat the final speech as a shorter version of their rebuttal, which is a mistake. This speech is about communication because you don’t have another shot at getting your point across. If an argument is unclear in the final speech, it won’t ever become clear for the judge, at least not on terms favorable to you.