Giving a Great Second Speech

The primary goal of this speech is to set up the subsequent speeches in the debate. Naturally, this speech will have to include a substantial amount of refutation, as it covers the 16 minutes of material previously delivered in this round. The second speech is most frequently structured as follows: intro, clash points, and the introduction of the third substantive at the end of the speech. The third substantive tends to be a substantive that turns the contents of the opponents’ speeches. For example, on the motion “this house would end sanctions on Venezuela,” a proposing team could be expected to make arguments about the economic benefits to the Venezuelan economy of ending sanctions. A good third substantive argument might be that sanctions force the Venezuelan economy to liberalize and ease the state-control of resources in a fragile economy.

Clash points in the second speech should group common positions together and respond accordingly, covering the material presented by both sides in a certain clash point. For example, on the prior motion regarding sanctions against Venezuela, the clash points could be centered around economic growth, risk of conflict, and principle argumentation. There is a large amount of flexibility and variance in approaches that different debaters take to writing the second speeches, so feel free to experiment and try new approaches.