Tips for Nationals #1: Don’t Shake Things Up

Posted by Natalie

As time ticks ever closer to nationals, the pressure can build. You have your eyes focused on the prize and can taste victory in your mouth. Or maybe that metallic taste is just the nerves. Either way, you would do anything to be standing on that podium at the end of the week. This kind of pressure can lead you to do crazy things, like staying up till 4 am researching or running your speech for a random stranger that just knocked on your door to sell magazines. However, no matter the temptation, don’t follow that siren’s call and shake things up.

For speech: lock down any changes. The only time you should change your script is if you are running over time. This allows you to solidify your memory, refine your delivery, and hone your blocking.

For debate: pick a case and stick with it. You’re better off running a solid case that you know in and out, so you can anticipate the arguments, instead of picking a new case in the hopes of catching people off guard. If you haven’t run a case before, you won’t know what they will bring up and you could be the one left surprised.

Trust what got you there in the first place and polish everything.

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