Giving a Killer First Speech

The first speech in Worlds sets up the rest of the round. There are several components involved in giving a killer first speech. We will break down the general mold of the first speeches and then analyze how they vary from the proposition to the opposition side. First, the intro. Traditionally, there is a 15 to 30 second intro that frames how the proposition/opposition will approach the rest of the speech. Other strong strategies for an intro include “putting a face on the motion,” that is, telling the story of an affected stakeholder in the debate.  

The next part of the first speech is to deliver the substantive arguments. Each substantive argument should consist of a claim, reasoning to back the claim, and implication as to why the claim in question wins you the debate. Each first speaker will deliver two substantive arguments apiece. Advanced first speakers would be wise to include a good deal of preemptive material in their speeches that can be drawn upon later in the debate. The first two substantives should be the strongest and soundest arguments you can think of. Traditionally, your first substantive should be more focused on the principle/ethics of the motion, while your second substantive should be focused on the pragmatic realities of the motion. 

The following is the traditional outline for the first speeches:

Outline for Prop 1
- Intro
- Framing
- 1st Sub
- 2nd Sub

Outline for Opp 1  
- Intro
- Framing responses
- Refutation
- Sub 1
- Sub 2